Coles joins ANZPAC pact; commits to packaging sustainability

As part of its ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, Coles has reaffirmed its commitment to packaging sustainability by joining the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Plastics Pact (ANZPAC) as a founding member.

Led by The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the new pact commits Coles to four clear, actionable targets by 2025, including: eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging; ensuring 100 per cent of plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable; increasing the current volume of plastic packaging collected and effectively recycled by at least 25 per cent; and ensuring an average of 25 per cent recycled content is in plastic packaging across the region.

By joining the ANZPAC Plastics Pact, Coles joins a group of leading packaging manufacturers, resource recovery leaders, government institutions and retailers representing the complete plastics value chain, working towards a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic.

Coles Commercial and Express chief executive Greg Davis said the partnership will help fulfil Coles’ recently launched Together to Zero sustainability strategy, committing to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and long-term aspiration towards zero waste and zero hunger.

“As one of Australia’s largest retailers, Coles understands the importance of working collaboratively to find a more sustainable future for plastic packaging,” Davis said.

“Following the launch of our new Together to Zero sustainability strategy, we have an ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, working with our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders towards zero waste.

“As a founding member of the ANZPAC Plastics Pact, we now have an opportunity to build and shape meaningful change through plastic packaging and move towards a circular plastic economy as a global community.”

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said, “A huge congratulations to Coles on joining the ANZPAC Plastics Pact as a founding Member. ANZPAC is a collaborative program that unites businesses, policymakers and NGOs behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic, where it never becomes waste or pollution.

“The ambitious new cross-regional program will work to fundamentally transform our response to plastic by eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating the plastic we use, keeping it in the economy and out of the environment.

“As one of our founding members, Coles will be one of the leading retail voices throughout this journey, helping us to build and shape a program that delivers meaningful change on the plastics issues. I encourage all of you to follow Coles’ lead and be part of the new approach to plastic in the Oceania region.”

As part of its refreshed ‘Together to Zero’ sustainability strategy, Coles recently committed to remove all single use plastic tableware from its stores by 1 July 2021. Additionally, in March, Coles announced a joint feasibility study into an Australian-first advanced recycling facility — advanced recycling turns soft plastic back into oil to produce new soft plastic food packaging.

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