Coles to stop selling soft-plastic shopping bags

Coles plastic bags

Coles has committed to stop selling soft-plastic shopping bags in-store and online by the end of June 2023.

The remaining supply of soft-plastic bags will be run down in the coming weeks.

Matt Swindells, Coles Group Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer, said the decision to end the sale of soft-plastic bags nationwide, both in-store and online, was an important step in meeting the supermarket’s sustainability ambitions.

“This decision to no longer offer soft-plastic bags at the checkout is proof of our commitment to reduce the amount of plastic used in our stores and online. This positive change will remove 230 million plastic bags from circulation in one year,” Swindells said.

“We will continue to sell 100 per cent recycled paper bags that can be recycled kerbside, as well as other reusable options. The 100 per cent recycled paper bags have been tested for use and we’re confident they can hold up to six kilos of goods.”

The announcement follows Coles’ decision to remove single-use plastic carry bags at checkouts in 2018, which saved about 14,000 tonnes of plastic from being produced each year.

From next week, paper bags will be used for home delivery and Click&Collect orders where customers also have a bag-free option.

Reusable fresh produce bags made from 90 per cent recycled material are also available across Coles’ supermarkets nationally. Plastic bags made with 50 per cent recycled plastic remain available in the fresh produce department, excluding in the Australian Capital Territory where they have been replaced with compostable bags made from plant-based corn starch.

To further reduce the use of bags across the business, Coles is trialling an initiative called Swap-a-box in selected states that allows customers to use a reusable box when making Click&Collect orders.

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