As part of its “Together to Zero” sustainability campaign, Cole's Own Brand is testing the replacement of plastic bread labels with new types of cardboard.
The replacement is made from 100% recycled paper-based material and can be recycled in the roadside litter bins.
The trial began in June and is slated to roll out in 2022 and will cover 254 types of Coles private label bread, including both store-baked bread and prepackaged bread. After the nationwide introduction, around 223 million plastic parts or 79 tons will be disposed of in landfills every year.
"At Coles, we are committed to reducing single-use plastic and we want to work with our suppliers wherever possible to make our packaging recyclable and with recycled content," said Andy Mossop, General Manager of Bakery, Deli and Seafood from Coles.
“We listen to our customers who told us in a recent survey that reducing waste to landfill and plastic packaging is the number one concern when it comes to environmental issues in retail, with 69% of respondents saying this is a major concern too them.
"We are proud that this move towards cardboard bread labels means that all of the components of our Coles own-brand soft plastic bread packaging will be recyclable."
Customers must securely place the tags in other paper or cardboard products such as a used envelope or paper bag to ensure that they are properly recycled.
Coles is also working with its bakery partners, including Goodman Fielder, on this plastic label removal initiative.
Mick Anderson, Head of Sustainability at Goodman Fielder, added, “Our new cardboard bread labels, used on prepackaged Coles private label loaves, are durable and have undergone rigorous testing and development. We have used high quality material that ensures both strength and flexibility to affix the bread labels according to customer expectations.
"We are proud to partner with Coles to reduce the impact of plastic and food waste as part of our shared sustainability vision."