In an exciting and encouraging move, Australia supermarket giant, Woolworths will ban the sale of all plastic straws and will remove plastic packing from 80 fruit and vegetable products after backlash from customers.
The move is a perfect example of the influence customers can have on the products they purchase. The ball started rolling on this exciting move when in April almost 400,000 people signed a petition calling for Coles and Woolworths to ‘Stop wrapping small portions of herbs, vegetables and fruit in plastic and Styrofoam.’
Like most supermarkets across the world, Woolworths have continued to excessively wrap produce items such as bananas, apples and sweet potatoes in plastic.
This caught the attention of many of the stores customers and led to the petition. In response to the mounting concern, they announced that the bans will be in place by the end of 2018.
Besides removing plastic from produce, the change will also remove 134 million plastic straws from circulation. Plastic straws have been a point of contention as they are one of the highest forms of single-use plastic. In the United States alone, over one million straws are used and discarded a day according to Eco-Cycle.
In a statement, Woolworths Grup CEO Brad Banducci said, “In the last year we have seen a shift towards more sustainable attitudes from our customers and the momentum is growing, with recent research showing a 15% increase in Australians now saying that taking care of the planet is important to them.”
The company has also vowed to have a food waste recycling partner at every store by the end of the year.
The decision from On Monday from Woolworths has also pushed rival company Coles to announce a new recycling and packaging program to reduce plastic.
The news is a monumental step not only as it will reduce overall plastic pollution but because it shows how people can organize to make a huge difference and influence multiple companies that have control in protecting our environment.
These changes can be just the start of creating the change we want to see. You can be the one who helps make reduce plastic use where you shop by taking the time to reach out and organize. If you want any assistance in getting started, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.