Australian supermarket chains pledge to help reduce waste production

The two biggest supermarket companies in Australia have recently pledged new commitments in helping curve waste production. Woolworths has promised that by the end of 2018 that they will be stopping their stock of plastic straws to reduce waste while also agreeing to some other ways to reduce their imprint on the world. A lot of people are confused about their main focuses being straws, however there is a method behind their madness.

Woolworths sells around 134 million plastic straws a year, and while not all of them may make it into landfill or in inappropriate places, you can bet that a fair chunk of them do. People have even found plastic straws more and more in the ocean, with some small groups dedicating their time to clean up the mess that we have been creating. Though straws seem harmless, they can cause major damage to the ecosystem, including wildlife especially.

On top of this, Woolworths also promised to reduce their plastic packaging as well. While the full extent of the change is unclear, people believe that what they mean is reducing the plastic used to wrap up meat products or baked goods, though this is only speculation. With these two new tactics, Woolworths hopes to be cutting down on its waste quite a lot in the coming years.

Coles also took to trying to help the environment when it comes to waste management, stating that by 2022 they hope to be removing 90% of its waste from landfill and halve its waste in at least two years. Coles ran a survey showing up to 69% of customers wanted to see the company reduce its waste output. They stated that bananas and kale were few of the items they were no longer going to be wrapped in plastic. Along with stating all Coles branded packaging will be recyclable by 2020, which is ahead of the government target.

Coles also decided that they will be replacing single-use bags with bags that have at least 30% recycled material along with installing easy to see bins where customers can recycle soft plastic bags. It’s a big step up from the two companies to tackle this problem head-on.

Not many people are sure about what else they will be doing. However, there are rumours of them even doing more. Hopefully, in the future, they will develop more plans to control waste, but it’s a good start. Hopefully, other companies will start to follow suit.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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