War on plastic stepping up

Fruits and vegetables in plastic packaging

Further to their commitments to reducing plastic bag usage within stores, Woolworths and Coles have shared plans to also slash the amount of plastic wrapping on fresh fruit and vegetables.

As a response to demand from consumers, the supermarket giants will further it’s commitment to a reduction in plastic.

Coles managing director John Durkan said: “We know that 69 percent of customers say that we need to actively reduce waste and landfill through recyclable packaging and find alternative uses for waste,” the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported.

Various fruits and vegetables such as bunches of bananas, kale and silverbeet are part of the plastic reduction pledge, as they are all wrapped in a plastic film to protect them. A lot of these plastic products will be replaced with recycled and renewable materials.

Coles has set a deadline to halve food waste by 2020 and ensure all it’s branded packaging is recyclable.

The supermarket will also redistribute surplus food as donations, equalling that of 100 million meals to people in need, SMH reported.

Other big name stores including Woolworths and Kmart are also aiming to reduce sales of plastic with Woolworths saying it will remove plastic straws from sale and circulation, and Kmart introducing metal, reusable straws.

Woolworths group chief executive Brad Banducci said: “In the last year we have seen a shift towards more sustainable attitudes from our customers and the momentum is growing, with recent research showing a 15 per cent increase in Australians now saying that taking care of the planet is important to them”.

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