Coles to Cease Nationwide Sales of Soft-Plastic Bags

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Image courtesy of Coles

Coles has pledged to discontinue soft-plastic bags both in-store and online by the end of next month, bolstering its resolve to decrease needless plastic packaging during the checkout process.

The soft-plastic bags still in stock will be depleted over the next few weeks, and by the end of June, Coles will no longer sell any soft-plastic bags. This decision will eliminate 230 million plastic bags from circulation within a year.

Coles Group's Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer, Matt Swindells, views the move as a crucial step towards achieving the supermarket's sustainability goals, and as such, the sale of soft-plastic bags will cease both in-store and online across the country.

Matt stated that the decision to discontinue the provision of soft-plastic bags at the checkout is evidence of their dedication to decreasing the amount of plastic utilised in their stores and online. This constructive change will eliminate 230 million plastic bags from circulation within one year.

He emphasised that the most eco-friendly alternative is to bring one's reusable bag while shopping at the supermarket. However, they will continue to offer 100% recycled paper bags that are recyclable on the curbside, along with other reusable options, for those who forget to bring their own.

Matt also mentioned that the 100% recycled paper bags have undergone testing for use, and they are confident that these bags can carry up to 6 kilograms of products. This includes everything required for making spaghetti Bolognese or a family roast.

In 2018, Coles decided to eliminate single-use plastic carry bags from checkouts, which resulted in an estimated reduction of 14,000 tonnes of plastic production each year.

As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, Coles is now offering 100% recycled paper bags for 25 cents per bag. These bags are recyclable on the curbside and are one of the options available for customers who forget to bring their reusable bags while shopping. Additionally, Coles is selling reusable tote bags, chiller bags, and fresh produce bags made from 90% recycled material at varying prices.

Starting next week, paper bags will be used for home delivery and Click&Collect orders, and customers can also choose to go bag-free. In the ACT, plastic bags made with 50% recycled plastic have been replaced with compostable bags made from plant-based cornstarch.

To further reduce the use of bags in their business, Coles is currently conducting a trial of a new initiative called Swap-a-box in selected states. The programme allows customers to use a reusable box when making Click&Collect orders.

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Source: Coles

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