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Use and Consumption of Plastic Bags: Woolworth and Coles Case Study Assessment 3 Answer

Assessment Type Assignment

Assessment Number Assessment Weighting Alignment with 3

Assignment  individual OR a group of 2 max 20%

Assessment Description

In this project, you will research a relevant topic area to critically evaluate the contemporary issues faced by businesses. This topic will be allocated to you by your lecturer.

Research expectation:

  • The submission needs to be supported with information by credible sources.
  • Credible sources should be varied and included, but not limited to, the Textbook, Government reports, Industry reports, Newspaper articles, Books, and Journal articles.




What, if any, responsibility do corporations have to the environment? Provide at least 3 recent case studies of damage done by corporations to the Australian environment. Include in your discussion issues of compensation, penalties and cleanup strategies. What is an ETS? What are the arguments for and against an ETS? Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



One CEO stated that export processing zones (low-wage labour in developing countries) allow people in those countries to contribute to their economies and make a living. Others describe this as “sweatshop” labour that violates human rights. To what extent does either or both of these positions have merit? Provide at least 3 recent case studies of Australian corporations that use export processing zones when explaining your answer. Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



What responsibility do corporations have to provide consumers with the risks associated with their products? What are their responsibilities for testing products? Is there a difference between what is legally required, and what is ethically required? Discuss this in relation to Australian consumer law. Provide at least 3 recent case studies. Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



Who should own “commons” such as natural resources and services for citizens (e.g., healthcare, police, and education)? Who should make the decision about ownership? Is it the case that only those who own such commons can have an interest in maintaining them? Many arguments for privatization focus on the belief that corporations can run operations more efficiently (and therefore minimize waste of public funds). Is this a valid position? Provide at least 3 recent case studies of privately owned “commons” in Australia. Should economic efficiency be the primary concern for common and public services? Are there other criteria to determine who should own or operate them? Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



2018 saw big shifts in the media-scape that might have a bearing on the Federal election. Media editor Lee Duffield asks how much changes in the structures and organisation of the media will have on services and democratic government. Discuss media ownership in Australia. The merger of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Company is finally complete. What does it mean for journalists, for the companies and the media landscape in Australia?

Is it fair for those who own media (e.g., book publishers, newspapers, television station owners, etc.) to be able to decide what is said? Is it fair for advertisers to exert influence over how they are portrayed in the media? Discuss some of the recent controversies that have involved Fox News, BBC and CNN.

Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



“Free agency” of corporate CEOs – individuals such as Noam Chomsky reminds us that we must differentiate between the institution and the individual. Is there a problem when a “nice” person is involved in a company that engages in some unethical practices? What responsibilities do people have to call attention to or try to stop practices that they view as unethical.

Michael Moore felt that corporations and their CEOs are “out of touch” with what the majority want, because the majority of citizens are women and the working poor. Do you agree with Michael Moore’s statement? Does it matter whether or not CEOs know who the “majority” are and what they want?

What is a “Golden Handshake”? What action has the Australian government taken in relation to “Golden Handshakes”? What are the ethical issues for CEO’s whose companies have performed badly to still get a bonus whilst workers are being laid off? . Provide at least 3 recent case studies. Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



How hard is it to game the Australian University system? Hollywood celebs have been caught out and charged over a massive college admissions fraud scandal in the US. How likely is it that the higher education system could be gamed in Australia? Discuss.

In your research, also discuss whether university admission scams ever happen in Australia. Following all the bad publicity what measures has the government taken to address the problem? What do you think the government and/or universities can do to improve the services that are provided to overseas students? What are your perceptions about higher-education in Australia? Provide at least 3 recent case studies.

Research and provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.



The Australian government has ordered a compulsory recall of 2.3 million cars due to faulty Takata airbags. Exploding airbags have been linked to at least 23 deaths worldwide, including one in Australia. The move adds to a global recall of more than 100 million vehicles - the biggest in automotive history. The ACCC said it was also the largest ever compulsory recall of a product in the nation, and the first to hit cars.

Discuss the issues involved and how Takata has managed the crisis. What are the consumers’ rights and entitlements in relation to this recall? Do you think the current Australian consumer law is adequate to protect consumers in this incident? What impact is it likely to have on Takata’s brand, reputation and consumer perceptions?

Provide appropriate legislations, cases and newspaper articles to support your views.



The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed scandals that shocked Australia.

One of the few unresolved consumer questions about the royal commission report dated 1 February 2019 that Kenneth Hayne delivered to the government is: "Who pays for the past?”. The report referred 24 entities and companies for either civil or criminal proceedings, there's still a sense that the big banks, in particular, are getting off scot-free. Do you agree with this sentiment? Discuss the impact of the Royal Banking Commission on financial products including mortgages, insurances, financial planning and super. What can be done to protect consumers?

Provide appropriate legislations, recent cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.


Major supermarkets including Coles and Woolworth phased out single-use plastic bags back in July 2018, instead introducing reusable bags for a fee. Do you agree that the change is in the fight to protect the environment and for a great cause? What is your view about the plastic bag ban in Australia? Has NSW moved to legislate to phase out plastic bags? Has political correctness gone too far or far enough? What is the status of Australian plastic consumption since the ban of plastic bags? Does the ban make any difference to the environment? Discuss.

Provide appropriate legislations, cases, reports and newspaper articles to support your discussions.




The writing is based on the use and consumption of plastic bags. The case study based on the retail companies of Australia named Woolworth and Coles is referred to in this writing. The status of plastic bag consumption in Australia is also explained. The effects of plastic bags consumption in Australia have been evaluated.

The retail companies like Woolworth have announced to phase out the use of single-use plastic bags. This has been followed by Coles and it was initiated from 2018.  The Woolworth Company has made lightweight plastic bags to be no longer used for the use of the customers. According to Slezak, (2020), The Woolworth Company has estimated that they have provided 3.2 billion lightweight bags per year. They had made a change and they decided to provide reusable plastic bays to the customers. The chief executive of Woolworths has said that by this change in the customer service the company is advancing towards environmental conservation. The chief executive has also said that they will reduce all types of plastic bags consumption in supply chains and vegetable-fruit retails. The chief customer officer of Coles named Simon McDowell has said that they are making the plastic bags to phase out only for some time. They had also said this will help them to make some contribution to environmental conservation.  

Do you agree that the change is in the fight to protect the environment and for a great cause?

These new statements of the two great companies are the steps which are based on the stepping towards environmental conservation. The magnitude of the steps is in moderate condition and it lacks proper commitment and decision which can make their statement more advanced towards environmental conservation. They are providing the phase-out of the plastic bags. They are making the reusable bags to be used in the market. This makes plastic consumption to be reduced in the least amount.  There are also some cases that these companies have many branches and outlets which use heavy plastic bags instead of single user plastic bags. The companies have to reformulate their finance and production to provide more biodegradable bags which are made up of plant items. They had to make statements to provide bio-degradable bags and non-plastic bags instead of reusable bags (Alyazichi et al., 2017). This would make them more effective in environmental conservation. The large companies have to take some more robust steps for environmental conservation. This would help the other smaller and medium-sized companies to follow them in the path of environmental conservation. 

What is your view about the plastic bag ban in Australia?

There has been a reduction ranging to 80% of the use of plastic bags in the Australian nation for three months of estimations. The report from the Australian Associated Press has stated there is a reduction in the use of plastic bags. The reduction of 1.5 billion bags has been eliminated after the statements from the two companies. This has proven to be efficient by the two companies in the reduction of the use of plastic items. The report from the David Stout of the nation Retail Association has said there has been a reduction in the use of plastic bags nearly 90 per cent. Mr Stout has estimated that there has to be some help from the Australian government to make the ban of the plastic bags throughout the nation. New South Wales has not been legislated to phase out plastic bags (Chow, 2020). The individuals of Australia have found this change in daily life not so complicated and they are also concerned about the conservation of the Australian Environment. The state of Victoria has banned the use of lightweight plastic bags from 31st October 2019. The government has made the customer use only 35 microns or less than 35-micron plastic goods. Australia has significantly taken some consideration on the reduction of the plastic items (McKenzie, 2020). This has formed some steps towards global environmental preservation. The reduction of the plastic bags will make the dumping grounds to be free from the non-biodegradable wastes. The pollution of the land and ocean will be reduced with the reduction of plastic items. These can help the nation to gain the recognition of the plastic and carbon-free in the whole planet. 

Has NSW moved to legislate to phase out plastic bags? 

New South Wales of Australia has finally moved to make some process to make the ban on the plastic bags to be completed. The state will take some time to take some steps which are dynamic and improving for the conservation of the environment (Costa, 2020). The state has made the elimination in the use of plastic items like plastic plates, straws, mugs, etc.  The first concern based on the plastic bag reduction has been stated by the Attorney General and MP of Cronulla named Mark Speak man. This was supported by MP of Heathcote named Lee Evans. They had appealed in the year of 2014. This has been followed by major organizations like the Woolworths and Coles. From 8th May New South Wales has decided to reduce the consumption of plastic bags and goods (Trembath, 2020). This has been published through an Act which is the Cleanin Up Our Act: Redirecting the future of Plastic in NSW (Boomerang Alliance, 2020). The report also describes that some of the companies and businesses are using heavy plastic bags and it should be reduced.  According to the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the NSW can become the leader in the waste reduction, protecting our environment and maximizing recycling. It also requires assistance for the 20 Year Waste Strategy. According to DaCosta, (2020), the environment minister Matt Kean has said that the reduction in the plastic bags has increased plastic recycling. He has also decided to make NSW a leader in plastic research and development for the reduction of plastic bags. Also, there is some other legislation which helps in eradicating the plastics such as plastic shopping bags act 2008 which directly stated that no retailer can provide any plastic bags to the consumers (Legislation, 2020).

Has political correctness gone too far or far enough?

More than two-thirds of the demographic of Australia had believed that political correctness has reduced. As a result, many citizens of Australia are also offended by the political positions and steps of the Australian government. The Australian Talks national Survey has executed this survey in 2019 based on the position of the political correctness of the Australian government. The immigrants of Australia have also thought that the political correctness has been declining and they constitute 68% of the immigrant demography (Crabb, 2020). This has affected the government to make the best possible strategies in environmental conservation programs. Some of the state government has made some policies based on the reduction of plastic items. This had some effects in the states like New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The state of Queensland has banned the plastic ban since 2018. 

What is the status of Australian plastic consumption since the ban on plastic bags? 

The end of March 2020 has stated that the 5 million single-use plastics have been reduced, eliminated and reused. From the statements of Keck, (2020), this involves the gross of 1.5 million plastic straws, 1 million coffee cups made up of plastic and 1.5 million plastic containers. The National Retail Association has stated the report following the plastic bag ban by the two retail companies has made the other companies become more environmentally concerned. There have been nearly 75% of the reduction of plastic items by the various retail companies in Australia. The retails company like Coles Company has initiated the use of the cloth bags instead of plastic bags. The total sum of 1.5 million plastic bags has been reduced by retail companies in Australia.  The NRA Manager of Industry named Mr David Stout has said that the many shoppers in the present period are using their own bags which have also led to some influences in the plastic reduction (Keck, 2020). The many supermarkets in Australia which the core users of the plastic materials have decided to use the materials which are biodegradable and environmentally perfect. They had initiated the making of the substitutes of the plastic in the packaging of the products and accessories. This has also made some smaller companies more motivated to make the plastic reduction. This has also helped the customers to become more flexible with the new changes in the Australian environment.  

Each year Australia uses a total of 690 kilograms of waste to be filled in the dumping lands of Australia (Mfe, 2020). These wastes are the products of the plastic material rates to the dumping of nearly 429,000 bags per hour. Australia has also gained the bad reputation of the generation of waste and it has given the second position in the world. The country is just below the waste generation position in the USA. The amount of the waste generated in Australia which is filled in the dumping ground has the measurement to fill the entire state of Victoria (Arim, 2020). This is quite embarrassing for the environmental conservation steps of Australia. Australia has to make some number of steps to reduce the dumping of the plastic wastes to save the earth and its resources. These dumping of plastic and chemical wastes has caused land and water pollution which are affecting the ecological balance of the nation.

Does the ban make any difference to the environment?

The banning of plastic bags in Australia is one of the robust strategies in the reduction of waste generation and environmental pollution (Vince and Hardesty, 2017). From the statements of McKenzie, (2020), this has helped the nation to become more environmentally friendly and the recognition of the nation has also increased around the world. At the federal level, the Australian authority of the legislation has proposed to make some compulsory schemes for the manufacturers, distributors and importers based on the packing within 2021. These schemes relied on the use of alternative resources in the place of single plastic items. The Australian Government has stated that from 2019 the government will initiate recyclable waste to be exported in other nations. The prime minister of Australia has stated that it is the responsibility of the nation to management and dissolves the waste for the betterment of the nation. The estimated revenues in the export can range up to 3 billion Australian Dollar which can beneficial. The Waste Management Review of Australia has published the production of the new plastic substitute named Reconophalt and it can be used in the construction and road making purposes (Arim, 2020). The University of New South Wales has also programmed a micro-factory and it can be used in the production of the alternatives of plastic items. 

This will help new companies to become more aware of the reduction of plastic items in the future. The significance of the alteration of human behaviour is regarding the consumption of plastic which helps the human belong to become more advanced in the step of environmental conservation. The survey on the use of the plastic has stated that the plastic materials have stated that the 9.2 billion tons of plastic have been preceded in Australia form the last seventy years. This has resulted in the generation of the plastic and chemical wastes of 6.9 billion tones. The only tenth part of these plastic wastes has been recycled. The rest are remaining in the dumping grounds and landfills. The estimated wastes of the plastic come from the plastic bags which are used in the shopping (Arim, 2020). The new initiative from the Australian Government has a new revolution in environmental conservation based on plastic consumption to be minimized.  The government has made some visions which have to be completed by the year 2025.  It states that 100% of the packing process of Australia will be completely reusable. 70% of the plastic packing of Australia will be based on the recycled process. 30% of recycled items will be accelerated in the grocery packings of Australia. The new innovation and technological development will be executed to bring new alternatives to plastic products.


Australia is one of the advanced nations in the world. The number of scientific innovations is increasing in this country on a daily schedule. The industrialization has been growing in the country from recent centuries. These all resulted in the huge use and waste generation of the plastic items which is filled in the dumping grounds and oceans. These plastic items have reputed pollution which is making the environment degrade. Australia has to make some more precautionary strategies in the reduction of the plastic items used in the heavy industries. The nation requires using significant amounts of plant-based and biodegradable materials which can be initially cost increasing but in the future, it will give more prestige and profit to the nation. The nation needs to focus on environmental conservation programs and strategies to make the resources and environment more sustainable for the future generation.  

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