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Coles is actively working to reduce waste and landfill through a variety of initiatives, including developing packaging that is recyclable and finding alternative uses for our waste.

Plastic bottle image

Coles bottled spring water

Coles is a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant, which sets sustainable packaging guidelines, such as reducing the weight of products and using recycled materials where possible. Coles Brand natural spring water bottles are now made from recycled plastic. Based on current volumes this recycled plastic helps us save 2.8 million kgs of virgin plastic a year.

Plantic Meat Trays

In 2014, Coles adopted the Plantic eco Plastic™ R for packaging Coles Brand fresh beef, pork and lamb mince. The packs combine the use of renewable corn and recyclable plastic material to deliver a meat pack that is suitable to go in your recycling bin at home. The packaging has enormous environmental benefits and it’s not only renewable and recyclable - it also takes around half of the energy required to produce compared to traditional fossil fuel plastics. The Plantic meat trays are now being used for more than 50 million meat packs sold at Coles each year.

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In store recycling image

In-store Recycling

Our main sources of waste are food, cardboard and plastic in our supermarkets and for all these we have recycling programs. During the year, cardboard recycling by our stores was higher along with our diversion of food waste from landfill due to finding alternative uses for this, such as animal feed for farmers. We also increased food donations to SecondBite for people in need and expanded our donations to include frozen meat at more than 200 stores. Through our partnership with SecondBite we were able to divert 4.3 million kilos of fresh food from landfill.

Recycling for Customers

The REDcycle Program is a supermarket-based recycling program that invites consumers to gather together all their empty bread, cereal and frozen food bags, plastic shopping bags and other flexible plastic packaging and take them to their nearest Coles drop off point. The collected soft plastic material is delivered to our manufacturing partner Replas to be turned into outdoor furniture for Aussie primary schools and pre-schools.

Watch this video to see the REDcycle Program in action, and learn how you can get involved.

To responsibly dispose of the soft plastic packaging you bring home each time you shop, simply bring it back to any of our 500 stores that participate in the REDcycle plastic bag and packaging program.

REDcycle locations

Recycling bin

Reusable Bags

In an effort to help reduce the number of single-use plastic bags, we encourage our customers to use reusable bags when they shop at Coles. We offer a range of bag options in our stores for our customers to purchase. We encourage customers to bring reusable bags in stores, and when those bags reach the end of their lives they can be recycled at Coles.


Results so far

Coles now provides soft plastics recycling program in over 500 stores across Australia our customers are recycling an average of 4 tonnes of soft plastic packaging material each week. Through our partnership with the RED Group and Replas we have been able to recycle this material into garden seats to schools and kindergartens.

Find out how you can with the REDcycle program at a participating Coles store.

Get involved