United Kingdom

Supermarket blast from the past: Woolworths brings back paper bags for the first time in 40 years

A huge change is coming to Woolworths as the supermarket bring back paper bags for the first time in 40 years. 

The store added paper bags to its eco-friendly range on Wednesday in response to continuing customer demand.

The new bags are made from 70 per cent recycled paper and cost 20 cents each.

Woolworths have reintroduced paper bags (pictured) for 20 cents each after strong customer demand for more eco-friendly options

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said the reintroduction of the paper bag came after extended consultation with their customer base. 

'These paper bags resonated really well with customers when we trialled them in 20 stores last year,' she said.

'We expect to see a positive response from the customers who’ve been asking for this option nationwide.'

The supermarket giant said all paper used had been sourced responsibly and a mix of non-recycled and recycled paper had given the bags extra strength. 

Extensive testing also found the new paper bags can carry up to six kilograms worth of groceries. 

Plans are now underway to extend the option to Woolworths' online customers for home delivery and pick up. 

Since Woolworths started phasing out single-use plastic bags in 2018 more than 6 billion have been taken out of circulation. 

The new Woolworths (Bondi Junction store pictured) paper bags are made up of 70 per cent recycled paper and can hold up to six kilograms worth of groceries

Data from the supermarket giant also found only 15 per cent of customers buy a new plastic bag at the checkout. 

The latest eco-friendly move comes after the company announced it will trial a new initiative called 'Loop' next year. 

Australian shoppers will be able to receive products from their favourite brands in reusable containers and delivered right to their doors. 

Products will include washing powder, shampoo, juice or ice cream in customised, brand-specific and durable packaging.

Afterwards the packaging is collected or can be dropped back in store, cleaned, refilled and reused, creating a 'looped' shopping system. 

The Loop trial is set to begin in mid-2021 before a full launch later in the year. 

Plans are also in motion to introduce the paper bag option for online deliveries (Woolworths delivery driver pictured in Sydney)

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