Supermarket charging $15 for paper bags, announces crackdown on theft

PRICEY PAPER: Following the heavily criticised launch of its $15 ‘washable’ paper bags, supermarket giant Coles has announced new measures to combat shoplifting.

“The ongoing cost of living crisis has led to an increase in theft,” says a Coles spokesperson.

“So we’ve implemented a range of new measures, including plain-clothes loss prevention officers, CCTV and electronic surveillance.”

It comes after both Coles and Woolworths announced net profits of $1.5 billion in the 12 months to April. In the same period food prices rose 9.6%.

The new security announcement has left consumer advocates confused, who say it remains unclear who the real thieves are.

“$15 for a washable paper bag, that’s like literal highway robbery,” says Gary Chambers from Choice. “They probably cost Coles 15 cents each to produce.”

“Consumers will need to cut back further on grocery spending, just to be able to afford the new paper bag.”

“Either that, or they’ll revert to further theft.”