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Australia has slashed its plastic bag habit by up to 80 percent within just three months, according to Australia’s National Retail Association, which is some great news for platypuses, dugongs, and pig-nosed turtles. Remarkably, this drop in plastic bag consumption did not come directly from any government policy, it was effectively a business decision. This sharp turn around is largely thanks to two of the largest supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, deciding to implement a nationwide ban on free lightweight plastic grocery bags in July, replacing them with reusable bags sold for 15 cents. In total, it has potentially prevented as many as 1.5 billion bags from entering the environment. “Retailers deserve an enormous amount of kudos for leading the way on one of the most significant changes to consumer behavior in generations and we also applaud shoppers for embracing this environmental initiative,” David Stout, Manager of Industry Policy at the National Retail Association, said in a statement. “Nation-wide retailers have led the way and as a result also assisted smaller businesses in providing a template on how to manage the transition to a plastic bag-free retail environment. As a result, we are seeing similar changes made across the […]

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