Large supermarkets are attempting to do their best in reducing carbon footprints, but are receiving a mixed response.

Coles Bi-Lo supermarket and Harris Farm Market, both located in Broadway shopping centre in Ultimo, are attempting to put into place environmentally friendly initiatives. However, these companies are finding it hard to gain support from many customers.

Check out Operator for Coles Bi-Lo Broadway, Alina said: “We have to ask if they [the customer] want a plastic bag if they have less than three items…I’ve noticed a drop in plastic bags recently.”

Many customers remain naive, and still demand a plastic bag for one item.

Recyclable ‘green’ bags ($1.79) are located upon arrival into the store, and the new aesthetically appealing Easter line, though more expensive, are currently being used in an attempt to deter the unnecessary use of harmful plastic bags.

Coles Bi-Lo utilises large blue bins, which are situated clearly at the front of the store for old plastic bags to be brought in by the public for recycling. The recycled plastic bags are made into items such as ‘flowerpots, farm irrigation piping and garbage bins’ to reduce the amount of plastic bags going into landfill and pollution.

Though in theory these methods should help reduce plastic bag wastage, out of 100 people surveyed, 60 still chose to use one or more free plastic bags.

Downstairs from Coles Bi-Lo, Harris Farm Market is practicing another environmentally-friendly scheme. Three weeks ago, an aisle at the check-outs was opened devoted to ‘no-plastic-bags’. Customers instead are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, or are given an environmentally-friendly brown paper bag.

Director of Harris Farm Markets, Luke Harris said: “We have to buy the paper bags for 25c but no-one was buying them so now we are giving them away”. Due to this, Mr. Harris may be forced to take away the paper bags as an option which means customers will have to bring their own, or purchase a recyclable bag.

Apart from this, Mr. Harris is committed to keeping the recyclable bag isle and plans to implement this into all of his stores across Sydney. He said: “I am not worried about reduction in business because customers will tell me if it’s a viable option or not”

Many customers have embraced this new idea, the new aisle seemingly as popular as the others.

Harris Farm Market customer Charlotte Brandis said: “I keep them [green bags] in my car and so I don’t forget them”.

With companies taking initiatives like these, a sustainable environment should be attainable.


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