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Single-use plastic bag removal

Coles is continually looking at ways to reduce plastic, which is why we will be removing single-use plastic shopping bags on July 1 in states where bans are not already in place.

To gather feedback and ensure the transition is as easy as possible for our customers, we are trialling this change in four stores across Australia - Balgowlah (NSW), Williamstown (VIC), Inglewood (WA) and Hope Island (QLD). This trial was effective from Monday, 30 April.


What bags will be available?

Coles Better Bag

If you forget to bring your own bags, Coles has introduced the Better Bag. The Coles Better bag is made from 80% recycled material and is bigger, thicker and more durable than the previous bags.

You can buy the Coles Better Bag for just 15c and use it over and over again. It is also not as bulky as other reusable bags, making it easier for you to fold and store in your handbags or backpacks. When you’re finished with the Better Bag, it can be recycled through the REDcycle bins at your local Coles store.

Coles Community Bags

We will also introduce a new range of Community Bags, available in stores from 5 June 2018. These durable, multi-use bags have been designed by school children from across Australia. A portion of sales of these bags will be donated to four community organisations – Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia, SecondBite and Guide Dogs Australia. The range will include a shoulder bag, a chiller bag, a tote and a jute bag.

These are made from a range of material including cotton / jute, polypropylene and LDPE/LLDPE. All these bags, except for the chiller bag and jute bag, can be recycled through the REDcycle program available in all Coles supermarkets.



We are proud to offer REDcycle recycling bins in all Coles supermarkets. This is the largest retailer-operated recycling program of its type in Australia.

Through the program, Coles customers can recycle plastic bags and soft plastic packaging using specially marked bins at the front stores. Our recycling partner, Replas, then converts this plastic into new products, including the benches you see in the front of Coles supermarkets.

Since the program began in 2011, Coles has diverted more than 300 million pieces of flexible plastic from landfill across Australia.

Not only can customers recycle single-use plastic bags in these bins, they can also recycle other soft plastic packaging including bread bags, cereal bags and frozen food bags.

Types of soft plastics that can be recycled via REDcycle are:

  • Shopping bags including reusable 'green’ bags
  • Fresh fruit and vegie bags
  • Bread bags
  • Cereal box liners
  • Biscuit wrappers and confectionery packaging
  • Rice and pasta packets and frozen food bags


Want to know more about our plastic bag phase-out?

Please see below for more information on the changes. Should you have additional questions, please contact us via telephone on 1800 061 562, email via contact us or FacebookOpens in new window.

What is changing at Coles?

From 1 July 2018, Coles will no longer provide free light-weight single-use plastic carry bags in our stores in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

We are encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping, and have a range of reusable bags available for purchase starting at 15c for customers who don’t bring a bag from home.

Why are we making the change?

We have committed to phasing out single-use plastic carry bags by 1 July 2018 across all our stores because we believe it is the right thing to do for the environment.

It will also bring our stores in New South Wales and Victoria in line with the ACT, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland where Coles already complies with legislation banning light weight single-use plastic carry bags, and with Queensland and Western Australia which are introducing bag bans from 1 July 2018.

Our announcement in July 2017 followed several months of consultation with our customers and environmental groups on a plan to transition away from single-use bags.

In states where single-use bags are already banned, charging for reusable bags has been effective in reducing the number of bags used by customers and therefore helping the environment.

What is happening at Coles online?

We will not be offering any single-use plastic carry bags at any Coles businesses after we phase out single-use plastic bags including shopping online. For Click&Collect customers, groceries will be packed into Coles Better Bags, at a cost of 15c per bag; Home delivery customers will be presented with two bagging options when you place your online order:

  • No bags. Your groceries will be delivered in a crate, which will be unpacked in your home. Some items such as fruit and vegetables will continue to be provided to you in clear fresh produce bags without handles, or
  • Bagged. Your groceries will be delivered bagged in the Coles Better Bags, at a cost of 15c per bag.

For more information about what these changes mean for you when shopping online with Coles please click here.

What is happening at Coles Express?

We will no longer offer free light-weight single-use plastic carry bags across any Coles businesses after we phase out single-use plastic bags including Coles Express. In case you need to buy a bag, the Better Bag will be available in all Coles Express sites.

What is happening at our liquor stores?

We will no longer be offering single-use grey plastic carry bags as of July 1 2018. Customers will continue to have available fully recyclable brown kraft bottle bags (free) as well as 6 bottle wine bags which are free for purchases of 5 or more bottles or just $1.00 for purchases less than 5 bottles.

We will also be offering a new fully recyclable shopping bag for 10 cents. This is a heavy duty reusable bag which will comfortably hold a six pack of beer and two bottles of wine.