As part of its push to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags by 2020, Woolworths has announced its first trial of specially-designed paper bags.
The retailer said that the bags are made of 100% recycled paper and will be used for fashion, beauty and homeware purchases – but not for groceries.
The paper used in their production is recovered from used cardboard and boxes and have been designed to handle the weights and sizes of different items.
“The Woolworths paper bag has been designed as a true win-win,” said Feroz Koor, Woolworths’ group head of sustainability.
“We are looking forward to getting the trial underway so that we can gauge customer reactions and put the necessary logistics into action,” Koor said.
The bag will first be trialled at Woolworths Blue Route in Cape Town and will be included free with purchases.
Woolworths has also introduced a number of ‘plastic-bag-free’ stores across the country, with these stores now offering a low-cost reusable bag as an alternative.
These reusable bags can be used with grocery purchases.
“Apart from the obvious benefit of helping customers change to reusable bags, the project has other important spin-offs,” the company said in a statement in April.
“The reusable shopping bag’s fabric is made locally out of recycled plastic bottles and is recyclable.
“To date the production of the low-cost reusable bag has resulted in over 129,000 plastic bottles being removed from South African waste streams to be recycled and made into the bag’s fabric.”