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Together to Zero waste

We’re working with industry partners, suppliers and customers to increase food security, reduce waste and overall, conserve our valuable resources.

REDcycle soft plastics recycling paused - November 2022

Unfortunately REDcycle are not currently collecting soft plastics, so our in-store collection bins will be unavailable for customer use. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. 

We are working hard with other industry participants to find a solution to the suspension of soft plastic collection.

Please be aware when selecting products with soft plastic packaging which contain recycling guidance that at this time these are unable to be returned to store for recycling and there may not be processing facilities available to recycle them. 

We apologise for any inconvenience and remain committed to reducing waste and seeking a sustainable alternative solution.

Find out more information about paused REDcycle recyling here.

Reducing food waste

To minimise food waste across our supply chains and our own operations, every Coles supermarket and distribution centre has a food waste solution available to them. 

Our first choice for unsold, edible food is to donate it to food rescue organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank. Following that, we have other food waste solutions including donations to farmers and animal or wildlife services, organics collections and in-store food waste disposal equipment.

We're also reducing food waste in our supply chain by redirecting produce that typically would not be sold into other value-added products. Bananas are used in Coles Brand frozen banana pieces, banana bread and muffins. Cauliflower and broccoli are turned into broccoli and cauliflower rice. These products and others, such as zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles and sweet potato chips, are all helping our suppliers use up more of their crops and cut food waste. Our range of I’m Perfect fruit and vegetables celebrates produce that tastes great but may be flawed in appearance. The products are not only excellent value but also help to reduce food waste.

Coles employee holding food waste next to a food processor

How to compost your food scraps at home

When organic waste like food goes to landfill, it decomposes and creates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.  Composting your food and garden scraps is one of the easiest ways to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.  Some local councils accept food scraps in the green waste bin or another option is to make your own compost at home.



Reusable packing options

Recycled paper bags

To encourage our customers to move to reusable packing when they shop at Coles, we’ve introduced FSC® Certified 100% recycled, reusable paper bags. They cost $1.50 per online order and 25c each in-store, Australia wide. They can be recycled in your kerbside bin.

Swap-a-box (Tassie stores only.)

Introducing a new way to collect your groceries. For just $2, you can choose our reusable boxes when you place a Click&Collect order online. Opt in at checkout, pick up your groceries from your store collection point, and just remember to bring back when you shop. We’ll clean it and reuse it.

Customer shopping at coles using reusable Coles bag

Sustainable packaging

We understand our customers want us to reduce packaging and to make it easier for them to recycle. We also know that packaging plays a key role in protecting products during transport, extending product life, keeping food safe and reducing food waste.

We are continuing to work towards all Own Brand product packaging being 100% recyclable, reuseable or compostable by 2025. 

Knowing what packaging is recyclable and how to recycle can be confusing. We are striving to roll out the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and all Coles Own Brand packaging will carry the ARL by 2025. The ARL provides guidance on what packaging components can be disposed of according to different waste streams.

coles own brand sustainable packaging

Look out for the ARL logo on Coles Own Brand products for guidance on how to dispose of the packaging.

Recycling labels on Coles Own Brand products

Consistent messaging has been missing in recycling and disposal labels across Australia, resulting in confusion around what consumers can and cannot recycle. To help our customers with this, we are driving the delivery of the Australian Government’s 2025 National Packaging Targets by ensuring that all Coles Own Brand packaging will carry the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) by 2025. The ARL has been designed with familiarity and clarity in mind to provide guidance on recycling and disposal and is composed of three key parts: the separable packaging component, the recycling classification and additional instructions. 

The applicable packaging component is identified by the name at the top (e.g. box), and every separable component of packaging is required to have a separate label. The components classification can be one of three options – Recyclable, Conditionally Recyclable or Not Recyclable – as determined by the corresponding  Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) evaluation tool . Where the Conditionally Recyclable ARL is used, it will include consumer instructions to let consumers know that an extra action is required to recycle this component correctly.

Under the ARL system, there are three classifications of labels. 

Box: The black mobius loop, means that this piece of packaging can be placed in the recycling bin as it is. Each piece of packaging with this label must be placed separately in the recycling bin.

Foil: The white mobius loop means that you must follow the instructions to recycle this packaging component. If you don’t follow the instructions it must be placed in the landfill bin, as it will otherwise not be recycled and cause contamination to the recycling stream.

Lid: The bin symbol, means that this piece of packaging is not recyclable and you must place it in the landfill bin. Do not place it in the recycling bin. It will not get recycled and it will contaminate the recycling stream.

box, wrap, lid

By putting the ARL on all of our Coles Own Brand packaging by 2025, we are helping all Australians to think about how to dispose of their packaging. Our partners at Planet Ark and APCO have developed a campaign called 'Check it Before You Chuck It' to help educate Australians about how to recycle correctly using the label. There are a range of resources available for businesses, schools and households to help all Australians get the right packaging in the right bin. To find out more visit

Paused REDcycle recycling FAQs