Down down, supermarket waste is going down
Coles has pledged to halve food waste across its supermarkets by 2020, make all packaging of Coles Brand products recyclable by 2020 and reduce plastic wrapping on fruit and vegetables, as part of its newly announced 10 Coles Commitments on Packaging and Recycling.
The company has also pledged to divert 90% of all supermarket waste (including food, cardboard and plastic) from landfill by 2022 and donate the equivalent of 100 million meals to people in need by 2020 by redistributing surplus food. The announcement comes as the retailer prepares to phase out single-use plastic bags from 1 July.
Coles Managing Director John Durkan said Coles wanted to lead the way in its commitment to the environment, noting, “We know that 69% of customers say that we need to actively reduce waste and landfill through recyclable packaging and find alternative uses for waste.
“We are delighted to be the only Australian supermarket to sell own brand water bottles that are both 100% recyclable and 100% made from recycled materials. Now we are the first major food retailer in Australia to announce a target to make all of our own brand packaging recyclable by 2020, ahead of the federal government’s target of 2025.
“By the end of this year we will also connect every Coles store to the vital food rescue program SecondBite, meaning surplus edible food from every Coles supermarket will be redistributed to people in need. By connecting an additional 130 supermarkets to SecondBite this year, we will also be further diverting food waste from landfill.
“By 2020, we want to provide the equivalent of 100 million meals to Australians in need. Since 2011, we’ve donated around 72 million meals to SecondBite and Foodbank so we’ve still got 28 million meals to go.”
Coles’ commitments to recycling and packaging also include:
- a program to reduce plastic wrapping of fruit and vegetables through new initiatives such as removing double plastic packaging for fruit, selling bunched vegetables like kale and silver beet without plastic and removing plastic packaging from Coles Brand bananas;
- replacing packaging for a wide range of meat and poultry products with packaging made from recycled and renewable materials;
- replacing existing single-use fresh produce bags with bags which have 30% recycled content;
- providing customers with an option to recycle all their soft plastics at every Coles supermarket across Australia;
- providing an additional one million re-usable crates for fresh produce in the Coles supply chain in 2019 to replace single-use cardboard and polystyrene boxes, adding to the 6 million re-usable crates currently in circulation;
- labelling all Coles Brand products with recycling information to help customers know how and where to dispose of their waste.
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