Tuesday, 16 March 2021
Coles shelves single-use plastic tableware for FSC certified range
The move will divert 1.5 million kilograms worth of single-use plastic from landfill each year.
Coles Group has committed to reducing plastic waste by no longer selling single-use plastic tableware products including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery from 1 July 2021*.
As an alternative to single-use plastic, customers will instead be offered a range of FSC certified tableware and reusable options.
The commitment applies to plastic single-use tableware products sold at Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express outlets, and Coles Liquor stores – more than 2,500 sites.
The change is overwhelmingly supported among customers, with a recent Coles survey showing 65 per cent of customers are concerned about the environmental impacts of single use plastic tableware and prefer sustainable alternatives.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said Coles is committed to environmental leadership. “This important initiative will not only divert more than 1.5 million kilograms of plastic from landfill each year, it will also help our customers who are telling us they want to make more sustainable choices.”
“As a company, we already divert 79 per cent  of our waste from landfill and have recycled more than 1 billion pieces of flexible plastic with the support of REDcycle and our customers, since 2011.”
Clean Up Australia Chairman Pip Kiernan said single-use plastic tableware is a big problem for the environment. “During 2020, Clean Up Australia volunteers told us that 18.5 per cent of the plastic items removed through their efforts were single-use cups, plates, bowls, straws, stirrers and cutlery,” she said.
*The phase-out across Coles Group outlets will be complete by 1 July 2021, with stores in South Australia phasing out the legislated single-use plastic tableware by 1 March 2021, in line with South Australian law.
 As at 30 June 2020