Offering free lightweight plastic bags causes excessive plastic use, while banning lightweight bags can increase the use of heavier plastic bags (such as bin liners). Coles’ decision brings out the worst of both worlds.
Providing thicker plastic bags for free is worse than pointless. It encourages the same wasteful habits, but with more damaging material.
Is forgetting your bags really such an inconvenience?
AAP Image/Peter Rae
Meet the 'Yeah-buts' - those who know plastic is bad for the environment, but can't get behind the bag ban because it affects their own convenience. This mindset can stall the best-laid green plans.
Britain’s first social supermarket: Community Shop in Goldthorpe, Yorkshire.
Lynne Cameron/PA Archive
Social supermarkets help those struggling from food poverty – but they mask our broken food system.
There was an implicit financial exchange between parties.
The strong reaction to plastic bag bans is because consumers feel supermarkets violated an unspoken agreement.
Woolworths has already announced it will open more smaller stores.
Several large retailers and supermarkets have announced they are going to downsize to smaller stores.
A green light for dishonest behaviour?
What kind of 'swiper' are you? A typology of people who steal from supermarkets at self-service checkouts.
Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock.com
Facing stiff competition, the obvious solution is for Sainsbury's and Asda to grow their customer base and revenues, while cutting their margins, through a merger.
A short history of Easter egg economics.
Coles was once the market leader thanks to its ‘down down’ low pricing marketing.
Coles plans to compete with competitors by moving away from low prices to a focus on other attributes, such as sustainability, local produce and community.
If you communicate carefully, big retailers will listen.
Food is just food ... or is it?
Some sectors, like supermarkets, are not natural monopolies, but have significant economies of scale.
The latest report from the Grattan Institute, finds that claims about Australia being dominated by oligopolies are overblown.
The Victorian government has a new proposal to ban plastic bags. What is it missing?
Victoria's proposed ban on single-use plastic bags is a step forward, but what about all the other unnecessary packaging? A truly effective waste policy should offer a comprehensive plan for packaging.
Dave Lewis has dragged the supermarket clear of an accounting scandal. Now for the hard bit ...
What will we do for bin liners now?
AAP Image/James Ross
Banning single-use plastic bags makes sense, as long as it doesn't usher in behaviours that are just as bad, or worse – like over-using heavier bags made of even more plastic.
Watch out for booming burger prices in barbecue season.
Amazon suddenly became a major player in the supermarket wars.
Amazon paid a premium to snap up the upscale grocery chain, so we asked an economist to help us better understand the deal and what it means.
While retailers, airlines and many other companies are embracing self-service, the numbers show it isn't an easy win.
Waitrose has withdrawn its free coffee offer to loyalty cardholders – but on what grounds?
Battling the discounters with Sushi bars.
The upmarket store is reining in expansion but doubling down on value-added for its core clients.