Coles is under fire for reversing a decision to stop providing free plastic bags to shoppers.

They claim some customers need more time to adjust to the switch to buying reusable bags.

Coles was meant to stop providing its reusable Better Bags for free on August 1 and start charging customers 15 cents per bag, but has now backflipped on that decision and will provide them indefinitely.

“What a bunch of cowards you are @Coles you should be doubling down and not making any plastic bags available in your stores,” Ben B tweeted.

“Hey Coles, I won’t be shopping at Coles until you stop this plastic bag nonsense,” another tweeted.

Other reactions include:

What do you think of this major turn around?

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  • I am sure I paid for a bag when I bought more than I could carry in my green bag


  • Amazed to see customers at Coles still buying plastic bags. Not happy with them myself as they only last two or three times and then have to get thrown out as the handles break. Just a way to not supply in my mind as the bags are really not fit for purpose as in being used multiple times. My original green bags are still working very well for me.


  • They don’t show a strong stand. When Coles would be a person, you would describe her as insecure and a people pleaser.


  • What will the new re-usable bags look like? Even their very strong bags (like those that have strawberries on them) will not last forever and they still charge for them. The cooler bags they sell last very little time. We limit weight and number of items in them so they aren’t too heavy and the construction of them isn’t stretched. I only put 4 large containers of yoghurt in one. You could easily fit up to 8 in them. Imagine how heavy they would be to carry and how much strain it would put on the bags.


  • I think by Coles doing a backflip on the plastic bags is a cop out. They’re just showing that they aren’t a strong company.


  • Now I’m buying plastic bags for the bin instead of reusing the ones I used to receive. Still I’m happy to lesson the load of waste on the environment.


  • Very stupid decision by coles and I’m glad woolworths have not reversed their (yet). Sure some customers may prefer to shop there now due to laziness but it’s just delaying the inevitable and making the environment suffer more because of it. I do wish they would come up with a better system for online orders though.


  • I’ve done the right thing and have been buying bags and taking my bags with me to the stores. So I was upset because I work in a NSW CBD building which has a Coles attached and there are people that bag their lunch, carry it into the lift and dispose of the free 15c bag when they get to their desk.


  • So I’m really confused. We have known for months and months and months that plastic bags were going. So why the customer outrage? Lazinesss? You left your bags in the car? Lazy? So then Coles try to do the right thing. Customer outrage? Laziness? Why? I thought EVERYONE wanted to help the environment. But clearly not. I’d prefer Coles just stop the rot and make customers pay. They’ve had long enough. I’m not about to stop shopping there though because of this. Really. Outrage?? Maybe we should be outraged about more important things.


  • Sets a bad precedent when complaints like this get acted upon. At least Woolies stuck to their guns on the free bag period. Was wondering what was up today when I saw a lady in the mall with all her Coles shopping bagged in a filled up trolley. This explains it.


  • Coles has gained a more of the market in doing this it’s quite clever really lol


  • Everyone will get used to it given time.


  • do the right thing and take your own bags


  • It is always better to stick with a plan than to give in to complaints.

    • It really is not that difficult to take your own bags.


  • A bad move from Coles. You’ll always have people who object to change. Not handy to give these people their way. We’re way behind with this in Australia. Nearly 20 years ago I left the Netherlands and there were already no plastic bags available there.

    • Indeed, I remember! Also in Italy 20 years ago you paid if you wanted plastic bags.


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