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Woolworths has partnered with South Australian manufacturer Detpak to offer customers locally made paper bags in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The move comes ahead of a progressive national roll out of Australian-made paper bags over the next 12 months.

Woolworths said the new South Australian-made carry bags offer a boost for local manufacturing as a result of the multi-million-dollar partnership between Woolworths and Detpak.

Woolworths’ paper shopping bags were first launched in June 2020 in response to customer demand for a paper carry bag option.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Natalie Davis said she was looking forward to seeing local industry grow as the Australian-made bags are rolled out nationally over the next year.

“While almost all customers are now bringing their own reusable bags, we know unplanned shops still present a challenge from time to time. Earlier this year we introduced the option of a paper bag, which can be recycled at home, and the feedback from customers has been positive,” Davis said.

“As paper bags become a permanent part of our range, we’re delighted to be supporting new South Australian jobs as we move to a local manufacturer in Detpak. Our proudly South Australia-made bags are the result of Detpak’s hard work to build the local capacity needed to supply almost 80 stores across South Australia and the Northern Territory.”

Woolworths has been working with Detpak to plan and grow local capacity since early this year to produce the paper bags at scale in Australia and support a transition to a 100 per cent Australian-made line nationally.

South Australia minister for environment and water David Speirs welcomed the move to produce paper bags in the state.

“The bags will have significant benefits for the environment and the fact they will be locally made is even better,” Speirs said.

“This is another step in the right direction towards a local circular economy.”

CEO of Detpak’s parent company Detmold Group Alf Ianniello said, “Detpak is pleased to be localising the manufacture of Woolworths’ paper bags. As a South Australian business with 70 years history of local manufacturing, making these bags right here in Adelaide is something we are immensely proud of.

“These bags support the move to a circular economy, and are made from 70 per cent locally sourced recycled content. And, this project will be significant in supporting the employment of South Australians.”

The significant investment in local manufacturing to supply bags to Woolworths stores nationally will contribute to broader efforts to grow Australia’s local production capacity across industries.

Detpak will continue to build capacity to take on production for the majority of Woolworths’ paper carry bags nationally as the supermarket transitions to Australian-made bags across each state over the next year.

The bag is made from 70 per cent recycled paper in conjunction with un-recycled paper to provide a stronger structure which can carry up to six kilograms of groceries. All paper used in the bag is sourced responsibly and is certified by PEFC, giving customers confidence their purchase supports sustainable forest management.

Woolworths shoppers can choose from four carry bag options including the 20-cent paper bag, Woolworths’ Bag for Good, reusable plastic bags made from 80 per cent recycled materials, and foldable fabric bags also available at the checkout.

Since Woolworths began phasing out single-use plastic bags in 2018, more than 6bn bags have been taken out of circulation. Only 15 per cent of customers now purchase a new bag during a transaction when visiting a Woolworths store.

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