Helping customers recycle
Our retailers understand that our environmental responsibilities extend beyond the time a product leaves our stores and they continue to support the circular economy through customer recycling programs.
Some highlights of our customer recycling initiatives during the year include:
- Bunnings stores across Australia and New Zealand continued to work with local councils to drive responsible waste disposal and recycling. Initiatives included stores hosting council run e-waste, paint and hazardous household waste collection days in the carpark. Support for local sustainability initiatives was also showcased at the National General Assembly of Local Government, where Bunnings engaged with local councils and presented on past and current local waste initiatives.
- Coles announced the rollout of Plantic™ packaging for a wide range of Coles own brand fresh meat products. The packaging is both recyclable and made entirely from a combination of recycled and renewable materials. Plantic’s™ trays are made from recycled PET (rPET) with a thin layer of Plantic’s™ renewable barrier material, made from corn starch, which helps keeps the meat fresh. During the recycling process, the thin starch layer washes away, allowing the rPET tray to be recycled. Coles has used a previous versions of Plantic™ for Coles own brand fresh beef mince, pork mince and lamb mince since 2014. The previous version was recyclable but not made of 100 per cent recyclable or renewable product.
- Since 2014, Coles own brand still water has been packaged in bottles made of 100 per cent recycled content which are also recyclable and in FY18 it introduced new heavy duty reusable carry bags made from 80 per cent recycled content.
- Coles also plans to introduce fresh produce bags in 2018 made from 30 per cent recycled content that can also be recycled in-store though REDcycle. Coles will continue to look for other opportunities to include recycled content in Coles own brand product packaging.
In May 2018, Coles marked a milestone with soft plastics recycling for customers available in all its supermarkets nationally. This was a first for a major Australian supermarket.
- Coles’ partnership with REDcycle provides customers with a simple and effective way of recycling soft plastics, including plastic packaging and plastic bags. Customers can simply place their soft plastics in a dedicated REDcycle bin at their local Coles store, where it will be collected and recycled into a range of products.
- Officeworks takes a holistic approach when considering the environmental impact of the products it sells, which includes how they are disposed of at the end of their life. The free electronic waste recycling service allows customers to dispose responsibly of unwanted items, ensuring that the raw materials can be used again. This year, Officeworks set a target to collect 10 per cent more electronic waste from customers than was collected in the prior year. This resulted in 648 tonnes of ink and toner cartridges, computers and accessories, and mobile phones being diverted from landfill. We work with government accredited suppliers to ensure that e-waste collected in our stores is recycled safely and appropriately.