Coles celebrates increase in soft plastic recycling, despite dismal Gold Coast effort

It’s been revealed Gold Coast suburbs rank amongst the worst in the country for soft plastic recycling at Coles.

Supermarket giant Coles’ has released their latest Sustainability Report, which celebrates a 32 percent increase in the recycling of plastics that cannot be recycled through most kerbside services.

Items like biscuit packets, lolly bags, frozen food bags, and bread, rice and pasta bags can instead be brought to a Coles REDcycle bin at any store in the country.


The soft plastic collected in REDcycle bins at Coles supermarkets is used as a raw material by Australian manufacturers, Replas and Plastic Forests.

It’s recycled for use in things like playground benches, garden edging, wheel stops, walkways in parks, bollards and the customer seats used in Coles supermarkets.

Coles was the first major Australian supermarket to roll out the bins in all supermarkets last year.

The latest data shows shoppers recycled enough plastic to go around the world one and half times, though Gold Coast suburbs were amongst the least to contribute.

Amongst the top performers were residents in Hornsby in New South Wales, Yarraville in Victoria, Kenmore in Queensland, St Agnes in South Australia, Kingston in Tasmania, Jamison in ACT and Inglewood in Western Australia.

While the Gold Coast suburbs Southport, Upper Coomera, Surfers Paradise, Benowa and Palm Beach landed amongst the worst contributors.

Despite the dismal dedication to the program from the Gold Coast, Coles Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said customers should be commended for their efforts.

“The increase in use of REDcycle bins shows just how significant the issue of reducing waste has become for customers.

“We know that recycling is important to our customers, and we are seeing many people changing their habits to reduce waste that ends up in landfill.”

“Since we partnered with REDcycle in 2011, our customers have recycled enough pieces of plastic to go around the world five times which is just fantastic. We want to become Australia’s most sustainable retailer, so we are looking at ways to divert even more waste from landfill and reduce packaging,” Mr Keeve said.

RED Group Director of Development Elizabeth Kasell is proud that shoppers have jumped on board.

“This is helping retailers, distributors and manufacturers work together for a better outcome for materials that were previously going to landfill.

“The beauty of this program is its simplicity. We’re not asking people to change their routines – it’s just a matter of remembering to take their plastic packaging with them next time they visit their local Coles supermarket.

“And we were delighted to roll out our bins to Coles supermarkets across the country, it’s made a huge difference,” Ms Kasell said.

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