Retail giant Coles will stop selling single-use plastic cutlery and tableware from July in a bid to cut waste.

The move is predicted to remove 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic from landfill every year.

Plastic products including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery will be banished from Coles shelves under the plan.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said the move helped the environment and also responded to customers’ needs.

Coles says its move on plastic was in response to customers.
Coles says its move on plastic was in response to customers.

Clean Up Australia chairman Pip Kiernan said single-use plastic tableware was a big problem for the environment.

“Too many of these items end up in our parks, waterways, beaches and roadsides and, if left there, damage our precious environment for hundreds of years, outliving all of us.”

“We applaud Coles for listening to their customers and taking the lead in replacing these single-use plastic items.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans welcomed the move.

“Every company that takes action to reduce problematic or unnecessary plastics takes us one step closer towards a more sustainable Australia and is a win for our environment,” he said.

Plastic forks are on the way out.
Plastic forks are on the way out.

ALDI congratulated Coles on its decision after it decided to stop selling the product last year.

“ALDI Australia stopped selling single use plastic tableware products in 2020. We congratulate Coles for following our lead and encourage all retailers to consider their impact on the environment,” a spokesman said.

Australians on average use about 130 kilograms of plastic per person each year, yet less than a tenth is recycled, according to the World Wide Fund For Nature Australia.

The organisation says up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will find its way into waterways and ocean, where it endangers marine life.

Coles stores will phase out the products by July 1.

Its South Australian stores will phase out products by March 1, in line with state law.

Originally published as Popular item to vanish from Coles


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