Feature Image: Coles Collingwood team member PJ recycles a better bag.
Coles has branched over 1 billion pieces of soft plastic from the landfill to become Australia's most sustainable supermarket.
Since 2011, Coles has been working with its partner REDcycle to recycle plastic bags and soft plastic packaging such as biscuit packages, lozenges, freezer bags, as well as bread, rice and pasta sacks that most roadside recycling services cannot recycle.
The Prospect Primary School in SA has received a bench made from recycled soft plastic
The program now collects an average of 121 tons – or 30 million pieces of plastic per month – customers returned the one billionth piece of plastic to the REDcycle rubbish bin in Coles in June.
"Coles has been supporting the REDcycle program for almost ten years, and thanks to the participation of its enthusiastic customers, they have now diverted more than a billion soft plastics from the landfill," said Liz Kasell, founder of the Red Group and the REDcycle program.
The milestone coincides with Coles' first week of sustainability as a public company and reflects its strategic goal of becoming Australia's most sustainable supermarket.
To support its recycling initiatives, REDcycle received a $ 430,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to increase the amount of soft plastic that is collected for recycling.
Coles also awarded Plastic Forests a $ 300,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to manufacture steel-reinforced plastic posts that farmers, including those affected by bush fires, can use to fence around.
Thines Keeve, Coles Chief Property & Export Officer, said: “Our customers have told us that recycling is important to them, and Coles is proud to support initiatives that help close the cycle of recycling and waste To dump landfills. "
To date, Coles SecondBite and Foodbank have donated the equivalent of 146 million meals, which work with local community groups to help vulnerable Australians who are struggling to provide nutritious meals.
Coles is further reducing the volume of food waste that goes to landfill sites by donating unsuitable consumption fruits, vegetables, and baked goods to ranchers and animal shelters. In fiscal 19, more than 13 million kilograms were donated to farmers.
After a successful pilot project earlier this year, the program will now be rolled out to over 200 stores to support the reuse of unsold Coles bread from waste.