New South Wales remains the only state in Australia to have not implemented a plastic bag ban, with calls for stricter rules to be implemented as up to 61 million bags are littered in NSW each year.
According to 9 News, this comes as several third world African nations have already adopted plastic bag bans, with penalties including a four year prison sentence of $53,000 fine if anyone produces, uses or sells plastic bags.
Woolworths and Coles have implemented processes to internally remove single-use plastic bags as a corporate decision, but there is yet to be direction from the state government on such a matter.
A spokesperson for the NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton has pointed to the container deposit scheme, which has seen 283 million plastic drink bottles returned since implementation in December last year.
However, apart from the government 'welcoming' the changes that Coles and Woolworths have made, no comment was made on the lack of a state-wide ban.
While these companies are argued to account for half of the plastic bags used in NSW, NSW Labor Opposition Leader Luke Foley has said that this leaves 30 million plastic bags in circulation.