Coles Back-flips On Its Plastic Bag Ban Back-flip

"I've seen less back flips at an under 16's gymnastic carnival."

What you need to know
  • Coles has set an August 29 deadline for handing out free reusable bags
  • The supermarket giant came under fire earlier this week for announcing they were back-flipping on their plastic bag ban
  • Coles said the decision was about "putting customers first"

Coles has back-flipped on its back-flip to extend its free reusable plastic bag handout period, setting a deadline for August 29 before beginning to charge customers for the bags.

It comes after the supermarket giant came under fire earlier this week for backing down on its plans to make customers pay for the thicker plastic bags, with one Woolworths employee reportedly assaulted by a customer angry at the changes.

Coles took to social media on Thursday to announce the deadline telling customers the extension on the freebie bags was about putting customers first, claiming many were "still finding themselves a bag or two short at the register."

"Offering complimentary bags was always an interim measure to help our customers adjust their shopping habits and Coles will no longer be providing Better Bags free of charge from Wednesday 29 August," Coles said.

"Putting our customers first is in our DNA and we must always be empathetic and responsive to their needs."

But despite appearing to bow to the social media backlash from angry customers who were for the ban, many are still not buying the back-flip on the back-flip, labelling the entire ordeal "pointless."

"Well done #Coles, now that was a complete dog's breakfast flipping twice," one Twitter user commented.

"Coles' 'indefinite transition' period is already coming to an end later this month. That was quick. I've seen less back flips at an under 16's gymnastic carnival," another user said.

But others said the original back-flip provided "flexibility" and in what's set to be another embarrassing social media PR day for the supermarket.

Both Coles and Woolworths vowed to stop providing free single-use plastic bags earlier this year, after new legislation banning such bags came into effect in several Australian states.