The move is part of the supermarket chain’s commitment to cut down unwanted plastic packaging at the checkout and is said to be a major step in meeting the sustainability ambitions of the company
Australian retailing major Coles Group has pledged to phase out soft-plastic shopping bags both in-store and online by the end of June 2023.
The move is part of the supermarket chain’s commitment to cut down unwanted plastic packaging at the checkout. It is also said to be a major step in meeting the sustainability ambitions of the company, said its chief operations and sustainability officer Matt Swindells.
In the coming weeks, Coles Group expects the remaining supply of soft-plastic bags to be run down before the retailer stops the sale of all soft-plastic bags by the end of next month. The decision will take out 230 million plastic bags from circulation in a span of one year, claimed the retailer based on unit sales over the 52-week period until 30 April 2023.
Swindells said: “The most sustainable option is to bring your own reusable bag to the supermarket, but for those who forget, we will continue to sell 100% recycled paper bags that can be recycled kerbside, as well as other reusable options.
“The 100% recycled paper bags have been tested for use and we’re confident they can hold up to 6 kilos of goods. That includes everything you need to make spaghetti Bolognese or a family roast.”
Coles Group said that paper bags will be shortly used for home delivery as well as Click&Collect orders where customers get a bag-free option.
According to the Australian retailer, reusable fresh produce bags prepared from 90% recycled material are also available at its supermarkets across Australia.
Plastic bags made with 50% recycled plastic continue to be available in the fresh produce department with the exception of the ACT supermarkets where they have been replaced with compostable bags prepared from corn starch made from plants.
For bringing down the use of bags further across the business, currently, Coles Group is testing a new initiative called Swap-a-box in certain Australian states that lets shoppers to use a reusable box when making Click&Collect orders.
The latest announcement follows the supermarket chain’s decision in 2018 of removing single-use plastic carry bags at checkouts, which is said to have saved the production of nearly 14,000 tonnes of plastic per year.