Coles records REDcycling boost for FY19
Throughout the 2019 financial year, Coles reported that shoppers recycled enough soft plastic to circumvent the globe one and a half times. Coles’ Sustainability Report revealed that the 905 tonnes of recycled soft plastic represent a 32% increase in recycling compared with the 2018 financial year.
REDcycle bins located at all Coles supermarkets collect soft plastics including biscuit packets, lolly bags, frozen food bags and bread, rice and pasta bags — all of which cannot be recycled through most kerbside recycling services.
The plastic is used as a raw material by Australian manufacturers Replas and Plastic Forests, who convert it into a range of items, such as playground benches, garden edging, wheel stops, walkways in parks, bollards and the customer seats used in Coles supermarkets. REDcycle has also partnered with Close the Loop and Downer EDI to provide soft plastic for road base.
Locals in Hornsby (NSW), Yarraville (Victoria), Kenmore (Queensland), St Agnes (South Australia), Kingston (Tasmania), Jamison (ACT) and Inglewood (Western Australia) are among the most dedicated soft plastic recyclers in the country, with these stores diverting the most plastic from landfill.
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Coles Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said customers should be commended for remembering to bring their soft plastics back to store.
“The increase in use of REDcycle bins shows just how significant the issue of reducing waste has become for customers,” he said.
“We know that recycling is important to our customers, and we are seeing many people changing their habits to reduce waste that ends up in landfill.
“Since we partnered with REDcycle in 2011, our customers have recycled enough pieces of plastic to go around the world five times, which is just fantastic. We want to become Australia’s most sustainable retailer, so we are looking at ways to divert even more waste from landfill and reduce packaging.”
RED Group Director of Development Elizabeth Kasell is proud that consumers have jumped on board to support soft plastic recycling. This is helping retailers, distributors and manufacturers work together for a better outcome for materials that were previously going to landfill.
“The beauty of this program is its simplicity,” Kasell said. “We’re not asking people to change their routines — it’s just a matter of remembering to take their plastic packaging with them next time they visit their local Coles supermarket.
“And we were delighted to roll out our bins to Coles supermarkets across the country; it’s made a huge difference.”
To read the Coles Sustainability Report, visit www.colesgroup.com.au/sustainability.
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