Given that the Australian government isn’t making waves when it comes to implementing a plan to combat climate change, it’s pretty relieving to see massive brands and corporations taking it upon themselves to create change.
While we’re becoming increasingly conscious consumers, buying vegan products, shopping sustainable beauty and fashion, and with companies like LEGO and Nike stepping up and getting creative with new sustainable materials for their beloved products and implementing sustainability plans.
And now, Coles is jumping on board. Soft plastics make up 94% of the landfill that is destroying our oceans and other natural habitats, and carry chemicals in them that harm the atmosphere. Despite this, Australia still doesn’t have a ban on soft plastics. Luckily, Coles is stepping in and taking matters into their own hands.
From tomorrow, the aisles of more than 2,500 Coles supermarkets, Express and Liquor stores around the country will be transformed, with single-use plastic tableware now off the shelf.
The move will divert 1.5 million kilograms worth of single-use plastic from landfills each year.
The removal of single-use plastic tableware comes as Coles Group today released its Coles’ Sustainability Strategy, setting out its plans to work with customers, suppliers, team members and the community to achieve its ambitions centred around the two pillars of “Together to Zero” and “Better Together”.
In February, Coles Group committed to no longer sell single-use plastic tableware including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery in any of its stores from 1 July 2021.
The items have now been replaced with a wide range of alternatives including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified tableware like timber cutlery and paper plates and reusable options.
The Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, congratulated Coles on delivering its sustainability strategy, which includes the removal of single-use plastic tableware products.
“It is pleasing to see this initiative from Coles, which reflects the Morrison Government’s commitments to increase plastic recycling, find alternatives to unnecessary plastics and reduce the impact of plastic on the environment,” Minister Ley said.
“We welcome Coles’ leadership, providing their customer’s alternatives to single-use plastic tableware products, which will result in an annual diversion of 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic from landfill.”
Pip Kiernan, Chairman of Clean Up Australia said the organisation knows this is the change the community wants to see.
This is just one of the commitments Coles Group is making in its sustainability strategy. Others include phasing out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging by 2025 or earlier for all Coles Brand products, all Coles Brand packaging to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
They’re also aiming to source 100% renewable electricity by the end of FY25 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its value chain.