Supermarket chain Woolworths has said it will begin making its paper shopping bags in Australia after customers were outraged by the company’s decision to source bags in China.
The company said in a statement it had entered into a multi-million-dollar deal with the company Detpak to make bags domestically.
It comes after Woolworths faced a customer backlash in June last year following its launch of the paper bags.
The company said it was a step towards reducing the use of plastic bags and boasted that the paper was responsibly sourced.
But some furious consumers took to social media to complain after finding out the bags were made abroad.
“What a disgrace. Certainly won’t be using these bags,” one person wrote on Facebook.
Some of the concerned people said they thought the move showed Woolworths wasn’t invested in creating Australian jobs.
A company spokeswoman said at the time that Woolworths would have liked to offer Australian-made bags, but there wasn’t a domestic manufacturer that could do the job.
“We’ve been exploring options to source paper bags locally at the scale we need,” the spokeswoman told news.com.au.
In Monday’s announcement, Woolworths said it had worked with Detpak since early last year to scale up production to a point where the bags offered at the supermarket would all be made in Australia.
It said customers in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory had now been offered the Australia-made bags.
“While almost all customers are now bringing their own reusable bags, we know unplanned shops still present a challenge from time to time,” Woolworths managing director Natalie Davis said in a statement.
“As paper bags are now a permanent part of our range, we’re working to support new Australian jobs in partnership with local manufacturer Detpak.”