Coles celebrates efforts towards zero waste

Coles is celebrating the successes of its team members, customers, partners and stakeholders who are working together to achieve zero waste.

This coincides with National Recycling Week kicking off today (8 November). The annual campaign is promoted as an opportunity for workplaces, councils and schools to improve their recycling knowledge, and share ways they have embraced recycling.

Under Coles’ sustainability strategy, the retailer has implemented “innovative” recycling practices as it works toward its ambition of zero waste.

They reaffirmed its commitment to packaging sustainability earlier this year by joining the ANZPAC Plastics Pact (ANZPAC) as a founding member.

In the FY21 financial year, Coles says 87% of its Own Brand and Own Liquor Brand primary packaging was classified as recyclable.

The retailer’s target is that by 2025 or earlier, all Own Brand and Own Liquor Brand packaging in Australia will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable. It will also include an average of 50% recycled content and carry the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).

In a significant milestone this year, Coles is celebrating 10 years of working with soft plastics recycling organisation, REDcycle.

In 2018, Coles became the first major Australian supermarket to have REDcycle bins in every store for customers to drop off soft plastics. The material is transformed by manufacturers such as Replas into a range of recycled products including outdoor furniture for community groups.

In addition to its partnership with REDcycle, Coles also works with waste and recycling partner Cleanaway to reduce waste sent to landfill.

In FY21, Cleanaway is said to have recycled more than 181,000 tonnes of cardboard and 6200 tonnes of low-density polyethylene pallet wrap from supermarkets, distributions centres, Coles Express and Coles Liquor sites nationally.

Over the past financial year, it’s also claimed that Cleanaway has collected more than 20,000 tonnes of organic waste from 558 Coles supermarkets, 14 distribution centres and 347 Coles Express sites to be turned into valuable compost and soil conditioner, diverting it from landfill.

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