A Roy Morgan Research survey in May 2017 found that Woolworths and Coles received 35.7 and 33.2 percent, respectively, of the AUD$90.3 billion (USD 70.06) Australians had spent at the supermarket checkout over the previous year.
The supermarket giants' next biggest rival, Aldi, has never given out plastic bags.
SUPERMARKET giant Woolworths will phase out single-use plastic bags from its Australian supermarkets within a year in a move created to cut costs and help the environment.
From July 1 next year, Woolworths customers will need to bring their own bags when they go shopping or purchase re-usable ones in-store.
The company said its Dan Murphy's and Cellarmasters stores have already stopped giving out single-use plastic bags.
Woolworths alone now gives out 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags per year in Australia.
"We are proud to be part of a huge community of concerned citizens who continued to campaign and demand our politicians to take action on the issues of single-use waste and plastic, and hope that today is the start of wider awareness efforts to reduce our impact on the environment", he said.
In New Zealand a recent Stuff poll of 5800 readers showed 83 per cent supported the banning of plastic bags, after it was revealed Henderson Island, an uninhabited Pacific island, had an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on its beaches.
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The decision will be implemented in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Lightweight plastic bags have already been outlawed in South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania and Queensland ban comes into effect at the same time as the Woolworths phase out kicks in.
"Woolworths taking this initiative will encourage other shops to do the same".
The announcement from Coles comes shortly after the supermarket won another worldwide wine award, this time a Double Gold for its St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon, priced at just $6 and fended off competition from far pricier rivals.
"Now it'll just be that customers can buy heavier duty bags".
A petition being circulated online has been signed by more than 160,000 people.
The plan to remove plastic bags from supermarkets has been a long process in Australia.
Protesters of the Plastic Bag Free Victoria group protest in Melbourne, Australia, 17 August 2016.
More durable plastic bags will be made available for 15c, and of course, their green hessian bags will also be available.