There are moves all over to replace plastic bags, and this apparently is happening in GW stores, at least it seems in the UK. I don't have any other information about other locations.
via Faeit 212 (a Must Remain Anonymous Source)
Something we got in store the other day are new draw string bags and some new carrier bag designs, was told that they are going to start doing bags for life, (it’s where you buy a bag for like 10-50p and then if it rips you get it replaced for free)
the draw string bags look great, got the imperial logo on it, should see them out this Saturday.
This was posted by Reds8n a couple days ago
Just letting you know about a change to our carrier bags. We have a responsibility as a company to provide envorinmentally friendly materials wherever possible, and so we have changed the material of our carrier bags and also introduced a new Duffel bag (kind of like a bag for life!!). All our bags are made from recyclable, compostable material. We are also aiming to reduce the amount of bags that we use.
From now on we will charge a nominal fee for medium and large carrier bags of 10p, and 50p for the duffel bags. We will replace any of these 'bag for life' bags for a new one for free in the future, and recycle your old one for you.
This is rolling out in the UK anyway....possibly Australia too ? I'm not quite sure where that country stands on plastic bags at the moment....
... All in all, considering the small mountain of GW bags I've used and thrown away over the years, I'm alright with this. A lot of stores in the Uk have similar setups.
IIRC this is mainly due to legislation by ...errr. ... the EU or the govt. or some such.
The bag for life is, apparently, a drawstring satchel type affair according to a few scattered reports.
I believe Ireland has had a policy like this for a few years already.