Woolies new Aussie made paper bags. Photo: Detpack

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed an announcement by Woolies that it will be stocking locally made paper bags in South Australia and the Northern Territory so Aussie shoppers can directly support local wood fibre manufacturing jobs by using them to pack their groceries.

Woolies announced in June it would make the change and supply paper bags to its customers. This decision was warmly welcomed by AFPA as the right choice for the environment, however we also requested the company do the right thing by Australian manufacturing and commit to using Aussie made paper bags.

The Chief Executive of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said, “With the announcement it is turning to domestic supply for paper bags, Woolies has now ticked both boxes. It is the leading retailer when it comes to caring for the environment by moving away from single use plastic and now it is adding local jobs to the mix.

“COVID-19 has shown us the risk of relying on imports, and the need for Australia to be more self-reliant in everyday essentials like paper packaging, bags and toilet paper. When the major retailers opt for Aussie made they bring the scale to bear which allows locals to gear up for cost competitive production.”

“Internationally Australian retailers are now catching up with a huge global trend. Far from a ‘blast from the past’ the Woolies paper bags decision lines it up with the cutting edge. Internationally shoppers are ditching plastic packaging wherever they can and opting for more environmentally friendly alternatives. The World Bank expects global demand for wood fibre products to quadruple by 2050.”

“AFPA congratulates Adelaide based Detpak which will manufacture the bags. AFPA urges all retailers and businesses to move whatever packaging they can to natural recyclable, fibre-based products, and then ensure production occurs in Australia. That includes everything from printing paper and packaging, toilet tissue and paper towels, point of sale displays, coffee cups, and even catalogues.”

“Every extra Aussie paper product means more Aussie jobs,” Mr Hampton concluded.

The original media release is here: Media Release – Woolies makes the right choice for Aussie jobs and the environment