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Woolies shoppers across Australia will now be able to carry their groceries around in paper bags, for what is the first time in over four decades.

Paper bags are not being offered alongside reusable carry bags.

They were trialled in 20 stores throughout late 2019 in a bid to fulfill increased demand from customers for easily recyclable bag options.

The new bags are made from 70 per cent recycled paper and will be sold for 20 cents each.

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Woolies’ reusable plastic bags, foldable bags and Bag for Good options will also still be available at the checkout.

They hold up to 6kg worth of grocery items per bag, and are made from responsibly sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 

There are future plans in the works to offer the paper bags to online customers for home delivery and pick-up in the future.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters says the bags are already proving to be a hit with customers.

“While the vast majority of our customers bring their own bags, we know customers sometimes drop by a store unplanned or can forget their bags when they’re on the run,” Ms Peters said.

“For some time, customers have told us they’d like the option of a strong paper bag option, so we’re pleased to now offer that choice at our checkouts, alongside our existing reusable plastic bags.

“These paper bags resonated really well with customers when we trialled them in 20 stores last year and we expect to see a positive response from the customers who’ve been asking for this option nationwide.”

Each Bag for Good costs 99 cent but I can be replaced free of charge if the bag is damaged – it does not matter when it is purchased.

Proceeds made from the bag sales go to the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program.

Woolies’ reusable bags cost 15 cents each and are made from at least 80 per cent recycled plastics.

These bags can be returned to the store, along with other soft plastics, for recycling in REDcycle bins.

Woolworths began phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags in 2018.

The company claims that since then, more than six billion of bags have been removed from circulation.

Just 15 per cent of customers are now purchasing new bags when doing their grocery shop.

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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