Coles has announced it will no longer sell single-use plastic tableware products including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery.
The move will be effective from July 1.
Coles says the decision will divert 1.5 million kilograms worth of single-use plastic from landfill each year.
As an alternative to single-use plastic, customers will instead be offered a range of FSC certified tableware and reusable options.
The commitment applies to plastic single-use tableware products sold at Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express outlets, and Coles Liquor stores – more than 2,500 sites.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said Coles is committed to environmental leadership.
“This important initiative will not only divert more than 1.5 million kilograms of plastic from landfill each year, it will also help our customers who are telling us they want to make more sustainable choices,” Mr Cain said.
“As a company, we already divert 79 per cent of our waste from landfill and have recycled more than 1 billion pieces of flexible plastic with the support of REDcycle and our customers, since 2011.”
Clean Up Australia Chairman Pip Kiernan said single-use plastic tableware is a big problem for the environment.
“During 2020, Clean Up Australia volunteers told us that 18.5 per cent of the plastic items removed through their efforts were single-use cups, plates, bowls, straws, stirrers and cutlery,” she said.
“Too many of these items end up in our parks, waterways, beaches and roadsides and if left there damage our precious environment for hundreds of years, outliving all of us.”
“We applaud Coles for listening to their customers and taking the lead in replacing these single use plastic items.”