A Hobsons Bay environmental group that makes reusable cloth bags has criticised Coles supermarket for its plastic bag stance.

Hobsons Bay Boomerang Bags has moved its box filled with material bags out of the Altona Coles into Altona IGA supermarket, less than 300 metres away.

Coles and Woolworths removed single-use plastic bags on July 1 but said they would hand out free reusable bags until August 1.

Coles then said it would hand out its plastic 15 cent “Better Bags” for free until further notice, before doing another backflip and announcing a new cut-off date of August 29.

Boomerang Bags member Sharon Walsh, who is also Altona Village Traders Association’s liaison officer, criticised Coles for its actions.

“They’ve kept the plastic bags because they’ve caved in for a minority,” she said.

“They’ve now got their plastic bags … people are walking around advertising Coles.”

A Coles spokesman defended the chain’s extension of time for handing out free bags.

“We want to do everything we can to help all customers, and there are some who have found it difficult to get into the routine of bringing their own bags or knowing how many they need when they shop,” he said.

Boomerang Bags can be found at various locations including Altona’s IGA supermarket, Hobsons Bay Civic Centre, Williamstown library and Replenish health food store.