Single-use plastic dinnerware will be removed from the shelves of more than 2,500 Coles supermarkets, Express and Liquor outlets across the country from 1st July 2021. Every year, 1.5 million kg of single-use plastic will be diverted from landfills as a result of this initiative.
The elimination of single-use plastic tableware coincides with the release of Coles Group's Coles' Sustainability Strategy, which outlines the company's plans to work with customers, suppliers, team members, and the community to achieve its goals, which are centred on the two pillars of "Together to Zero" and "Better Together."
Coles Group said in February that starting July 1, 2021, it will no longer sell single-use plastic tableware such as cups, plates, bowls, straws, and cutlery in any of its stores.
The goods have now been replaced with a variety of alternatives, including FSC-certified2 dinnerware such as timber cutlery and paper plates, as well as reusable solutions.
The Hon Sussan Ley MP, the Federal Minister for the Environment, complimented Coles for implementing its sustainability strategy, which includes the elimination of single-use plastic dinnerware.
Clean Up Australia's Chairman, Pip Kiernan, stated that the organisation recognises that this is the change that the community desires.
Summary of Sustainability Strategy
Under the Together to Zero pillar, Coles Group is committed to:
climate action, supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);
achieving net zero emissions by 2050, sourcing 100% renewable electricity by the end of FY25 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its value chain;
a circular economy and optimising resources by supporting and creating end-markets to use recovered materials including those collected through initiatives such as the REDcycle soft plastic collection program available in all Coles supermarkets;
closing the loop by using recycled content in product packaging to create an end-market for recycled materials, particularly plastic packaging;
driving the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets ensuring that: 1. all Coles Brand packaging will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 2. across Coles Brand packaging, there will be an average of 50% recycled content by 2025 3. all Coles Brand packaging will carry the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) by 2025; 4. phasing out problematic, and unnecessary single use plastics packaging by 2025 or earlier for all Coles Brand products;
diverting 85% of waste from landfill by FY25; and
continuing its focus on reducing food waste where the first choice for unsold, edible food is to donate it to food rescue organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank. Under the Better Together pillar Coles Group is committed to:
making Coles somewhere all team members feel like they belong so that we can all live healthier and happier lives;
fostering an open and welcoming culture where everyone feels valued;
achieving a gender balanced workforce to benefit Coles and the community;
recognising and enabling people with all kinds of abilities;
championing LGBTQI+ inclusion in the workplace and beyond;
providing more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, suppliers, customers and communities to engage with the business;
building strong, resilient communities aiming to help Australians in times of need;
inspiring customers with best value food and drink solutions to make it easy, affordable and enjoyable to shop healthier at Coles including; 1. nutritionally improving Coles Brand products to meet Federal Government Healthy Food Partnership targets for salt, saturated fat and sugar; 2. continuing to ensure Coles Brand range of food and drinks are free from artificial colours and flavours; 3. expanding its range of Coles Brand plant-based and alternative protein products. o focusing on marketing and innovation support to grow our key health and lifestyle brands; and 4. making healthy choices easier by utilising the Health Star Rating on eligible Coles Brand products for transparent labelling;
the responsible sale of alcohol and tobacco;
working with farmers, suppliers and industry partners to have a positive impact on the environment and help our customers make more responsible choices including through the responsible sourcing of seafood in Coles Brand products and maintaining focus on responsibly sourced palm oil, timber, tea, coffee, cocoa and sugar cane;
understanding product impact by providing information to customers to help them buy responsibly;
playing an important role in safeguarding human rights in Coles operations and in our extended and complex supply chains;
establishing sustainable partnerships with farmers and producers; and
aiming to safeguard animal welfare by sourcing higher welfare meats and ingredients in Coles Brand products by: 1. aspiring to improve its score in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare; 2. continuing to maintain industry-leading commitments to higher welfare standards such as all Coles Brand fresh beef with no added hormones, all Coles Brand fresh pork, bacon and ham is sow stall-free and produced without artificial growth promotants, all Coles Brand fresh chicken and fresh turkey is RSPCA Approved, all Coles Brand fresh free-range pork is RSPCA Approved, all Coles Brand fresh free-range chicken is RSPCA Approved, all Coles Brand shell eggs are cage-free; and 3. continuing to grow its proportion of Coles Brand products with cage-free eggs as ingredients targeting completion by 2025.