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 landfill 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”.
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,” Ley said.
“We welcome Coles’ leadership, providing their customers 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.
“Earlier this year we surveyed 9,000 of our Clean Up Australia volunteers and 95 per cent of them were strongly supportive of the phasing out of problematic single use plastics. It’s heartening to see Coles making impactful changes to reduce waste to landfill and providing customers with options that are kinder on the planet,” she said.
“These items are not recyclable, they are designed to be used once and discarded, going to landfill and many ending up in our environment as litter. Last year our volunteers reported that over half of all items they collected were plastic or contained plastic,” she said.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said Coles’ purpose to sustainably feed all Australians to help them lead healthier, happier lives is aligned with and supports the achievement of the UNSDGs.
“Under our important new sustainability pillars – Together to Zero and Better Together – we have set our aspirations and the pathway to meet the many challenges and opportunities we face,” Mr Cain said.
“Our strategy is focussed on acting together now for generations of Australians ahead. We understand our responsibility to minimise our environmental footprint and to show leadership in protecting our planet and climate. We have identified powerful initiatives across how we use energy, how we can move towards a circular economy, as well as how we will continue to improve our sustainable sourcing.
“We are not working alone. Our relationships with our team members, shareholders, farmers, suppliers, partners, customers and communities drive our sustainability agenda forward. We want to win together in the best interests of all, including through our Australian First Sourcing Policy.
“We have already made meaningful progress on our commitment to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of FY25. We are proud that we were the first Australian retailer to announce a power purchase agreement and that the first of these solar farms in Corowa, New South Wales has become fully operational. We have landmark renewable electricity agreements with Lal Lal Windfarms, CleanCo, ENGIE and Neoen. These combined renewable electricity agreements provide enough to power more than 750 average-sized supermarkets.”
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