Coles is facing a second wave of backlash after bowing to pressure from shoppers incensed by the supermarket giant’s plans to abandon plastic bags.
Coles has been handing out reusable bags to customers in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia after bringing in a ban on single-use plastic bags.
The supermarket chain was meant to stop providing its reusable Better Bags for free on August 1 and start charging customers 15 cents per bag, but has backflipped on that decision and appears set to provide them indefinitely.
Environmental groups, most vocally Greenpeace, heaped criticism on Coles for the backflip as did many shoppers.
The company’s rival, Woolworths, recently banned single-use plastic bags as did the smaller Harris Farms Markets.
Harris Farms CEO Angus Harris urged Woolworths and Coles to maintain their ban noting he understood how difficult phasing out bags had been for his company.