Manufacturing News

Woolworths introduces Australian made paper shopping bags

Woolworths is now offering its customers in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia a locally-made paper carry bag as it gradually onshores manufacturing in support of local industry and jobs.

Woolworths has partnered with family-owned Australian manufacturer Detpak in a multi-million dollar deal to produce the locally-made bags, which first launched in South Australia and Northern Territory late last year.

The move represents a significant investment in local manufacturing, which will create around 25 new Australian jobs and contribute to broader efforts to grow Australia’s local production capacity across industries.

The Australian made paper bags – which use 70 per cent recycled paper – are now available for purchase in more than 400 Woolworths stores across Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. The progressive rollout will see the bags available in all states by the end of the year.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director, Natalie Davis said while almost all customers are now bringing their own reusable bags,  unplanned shops still present a challenge from time to time.

“Last year we introduced the option of a paper bag, which can be recycled at home, and the feedback from customers has been positive.

“As paper bags are now a permanent part of our range, we’re working to support new Australian jobs in partnership with local manufacturer Detpak.

“Our proudly Australian made bags are the result of Detpak’s hard work to build the local capacity needed to supply hundreds of our stores across the country.

“The launch of the bags in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia will provide a welcome boost for local manufacturing, which we’ll continue to build on as we roll them out to all parts of Australia by the end of the year.”

Woolworths’ paper shopping bags were first launched in June 2020 in response to customer demand for a paper carry bag option. The supermarket has been working with Detpak to plan and grow local capacity since early 2020 to produce the paper bags at scale in Australia and support a transition to a 100 per cent Australian made line nationally.

CEO of Detpak’s parent company Detmold Group, Alf Ianniello said Detpak was proud to continue its strong history in local manufacturing.

“This project is significant in its support of employment of Australians, but also in its extension of Australian manufacturing. As part of localising the manufacture of these bags, we have commissioned additional machines, doubling our domestic carry bag production capacity.”

The bag is made from 70 per cent recycled paper in conjunction with un-recycled paper to provide a stronger structure which can carry up to 6kg of groceries. All paper used in the bag is sourced responsibly and is certified by PEFC, with all new paper coming from plantations to give customers confidence their purchase supports sustainable forest management.

Woolworths’ shoppers can choose to purchase from four carry bag options including the 20-cent paper bag, Woolworths’ Bag for Good, reusable plastic bags made from 80 per cent recycled materials, and foldable fabric bags.

Since Woolworths phased out single-use plastic bags in June 2018, more than 9 billion bags have been taken out of circulation. With the majority of customers now bringing their own bags, around 85 per cent of transactions do not include the purchase of any carry bag.

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