What Coles & Woolworths are doing with their bag money

The rollout of reusable shopping bags in supermarkets across Australia has been controversial to say the least. One of the big questions has been: what are these supermarket giants doing with all their new revenue from the sale of reusable bags?

We’ve found part of the answer.

Coles have launched a Little Athletics Community Fund, providing grants of $1,000 - $5,000 to Little Athletics Australia clubs across the country. The first round closed 30 September, with the next round expected to open later this year. Funds for the grants program are being ‘raised through the sale of specially marked chiller bags designed by Aussie kids.’ However, the guidelines stipulate that only ‘10% of the retail price from specially-marked Coles’ community bags with a LAA swing tag sold between 5 June 2018 to 31 March 2019’ will go towards the grants program. Will there be more grants launched from the sales of all the other bags sold?? The cynical side of me can see the marketing ploy behind this one I’m afraid.

Not surprisingly, Woolworths launched a grants program in conjunction with Landcare in October - Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants - which, surprise surprise, is being funded from sales of the specific ‘Woolworths Bag for good™, a reusable shopping bag available in Woolworths stores’. Through this program, primary schools and early learning centres can apply for grants up to $1,000 for ‘hands-on projects with a focus on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices and enhancing native habitats.’ The current round closes 23 November. In an interesting turn of events, it used to be Coles who partnered with Landcare on the delivery of this program…I wonder what happened with that partnership?!

Now, it goes without saying that I am thrilled to see these big companies providing grants to the community. If you are a Little Athletics Australia club, then by all means watch out for the next round/s and go ahead and apply for these grants - it’s a fantastic opportunity! The same goes for schools and early learning centres; if you need a small grant for a food production/environmental project then make the most of this grant and get an application in.

However, these programs do also make me question the generosity of these mega companies. The grants are not being funded by all bag sales, only specific bags. They are also very small grants.

Personally, I would love to know what Coles and Woolworths are doing with the sales of all the other reusable bags they sell. If they happen to come across this post and need some ideas of great organisations to fund, then I’d be happy to pass on some recommendations - we work with brilliant organisations right across Australia who I know could use some extra dollars 😉

Jessie Ballantyne
Founder & Managing Director

 
 

Jessie Ballantyne

Founder & Managing Director