Australian supermarket Coles has begun rolling out shopping bags made with marine waste and recycled plastic as part of its “Together to Zero” waste initiative. The launch of the new bags aims to support the government’s 2025 packaging targets, specifically increasing the amount of recycled content.
The Marine Reusable Shopping Bag is made with 80 per cent recycled plastic, including 20 per cent marine waste recovered from waterways and inland areas within Malaysia.
Thinus Keevé, chief sustainability, property, and expert officer at Coles, said the new bags would help reduce the need for virgin plastic while also removing waste from the environment.
“Coles and our customers have collected more than 2.3 billion pieces of soft plastic through RedCycle since 2011, and we plan to continue this journey to divert plastic packaging from landfills,” said Keeves.
He added that when the bags reach their end of useful life, they can be recycled through soft plastic collections in any Coles store at the RedCycle drop off points. In addition, the company will donate 10 per cent from the sale of Every Marine Reusable Shopping Bag to support Clean Up Australia’s Buy Recycled Program.
Aside from the new shopping bags from plastic marine waste, the supermarket is also releasing reusable mesh produce bags nationwide for customers to use when buying fruits and veggies. The bags are made from 90 per cent recycled material and aim to help customers reduce the need for single-use plastic when shopping.
Other recent sustainability initiatives at Coles include the launch of home-compostable coffee pods, a range of beers brewed with unsold fruit and bread, and the removal of plastic measuring scoops from Coles Brand laundry powders.