Aussies divided after major supermarket rolls out environmentally friendly changes  

Feb 08, 2024
While the supermarket defended the move, some shoppers were critical of the recent shift, expressing doubts about the changes. Source: Getty Images.

Retail giant Woolworths has recently introduced changes to its shopping trolleys, leaving Aussie shoppers divided.

The modifications, featuring high-density polyethylene carts made from recycled plastic, have been rolled out gradually over the past five years, with some stores across the country only recently adopting the alternative trolleys.

The lightweight design of the new trolleys garnered mixed reviews from customers after a Reddit user expressed disappointment over the changes, stating, “In SE Queensland the new Woolworths trolley has arrived.”

“It’s light weight and very easy to manoeuvre, downside it’s much smaller. You can’t load two green bags alongside one another,” they wrote.

“Also been light weight the wind just picks them up and throws them across the car park.”

Source: Reddit/ @Cissyhayes.

A spokesperson from Woolworths defended the changes, emphasising the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“We’re working hard to grow greener for our customers and the environment. Our recycled trolleys have been very popular with customers for their lightweight design, which makes them much easier to manoeuvre,” the spokesperson told

“They’re currently available in select stores and we plan to continue rolling them out to new stores over the coming years. These trolleys are made from recycled plastic, giving used milk bottles a second life.”

While Woolworths defended the move, some shoppers were critical of the recent shift in trolley design, expressing doubts about the changes.

“Maybe the new trolley size reflects the new size of an affordable load of groceries?” one commented.

“Wouldn’t metal ones last longer though? Yeah, recycling is great, but not if they perish in the sun and crumble.”

“I hate them. I can’t fit my family size shop into them. Worse, I can’t pile my two young kids into the seat as they only have singles, not double. Even worse than that, the older one can’t hang onto the front and feel like a wild seafarer exploring the supermarket seas from their perch in the rigging,” wrote another.

“I was talking to someone who works in a supermarket once, and I mentioned these. He said they had too much trouble with the wind making them too hard to control. You could make the frame, where the wheels attach, heavier to compensate. But the frame on this looks very light.”

On the other side of the spectrum, supporters of the new trolleys shared positive experiences and endorsed Woolworths’ eco-friendly initiative.

“They have these at my local Woolies. The best part is that they are sized right so that you can park them over the basket area in a self scan checkout – like the bulk of the trolley sits above it and the frame fits below, so it all slots in neatly,” one person stated.

“I welcome them, 90% lighter than the others. Load them up and they’re piss easy to manage.”

“Yeah I have seen them, I noticed it is much lighter and easier to manoeuvre. Also they are more flexible so if you hit something it’s not so bad,” another said.

“I find these way better. They don’t brand u when they get hot lol”

It’s not the first time Woolworths has initiated a change that has sparked heated debate, earlier this year the retail giant courted controversy when it disclosed its decision to, which led to a wave of reactions from frustrated customers and ignited a social media storm.

“While Australian flags are sold within BIG W all year round, we don’t have any additional themed merchandise available to purchase in-store in our Supermarkets or BIG W ahead of Australia Day,” a Woolworths Group spokesperson said at the time.

“There has been a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years. At the same time there’s been broader discussion about 26 January and what it means to different parts of the community.

“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.

“Woolworths and BIG W celebrate the best of Australia every day, and we’re proud to support the farmers, producers, and suppliers who work with us.”

The announcement triggered a wave of reactions from the public, with sentiments ranging from frustration to outright anger across the social media landscape.


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