ON Friday, Woolworths announced it would begin phasing out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.
Within two hours, Coles followed suit.
Muswellbrook Shire Council sustainability officer waste Mick Brady said he was happy with the news.
“I think it’s been building up for a while now,” he said.
“There have been different community groups and Facebook groups that have been calling for a ban nationwide.
“Different states already do it, so it was probably inevitable eventually.”
Mr Brady said there were lots of different ways people could reduce their amount of waste.
“Food waste is probably a big issue,” he said, adding there were charities in town that may be able to use food that could otherwise be sent to waste.
“The first thing we should try to do is reduce the amount of waste we use in the first place.
“Landfill should be the least preferred option because it costs the most to [residents], and to council and to society.”
Looking forward, Mr Brady said it would be ideal if people remembered to take their reusable bags to the supermarket.
“We want people to reduce the amount of plastic bags that they use, not just still use the same amount but end up having to pay for it,” he said.
“So, the key is that is actually does see a reduction in plastic waste.”
It is estimated Australians use up to four billion light-weight plastic bags each year.