Sunday, May 26, 2024

Coles helps customers reduce food waste

Coles is helping its customers reduce food waste and save on their grocery bills this National Recycling Week, with the release of a checklist designed to help families keep track of what’s in their fridge.

As major sponsor of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, Coles is encouraging customers to download the free Fridge Checklist to help households use their groceries before they spoil in a bid to reduce the 7.6 million tonnes of food that goes to waste in Australia each year*.

The national campaign launches as a Coles survey reveals 76% of Australians admit they are making changes to reduce food waste, such as using more leftovers, making meals go further, being more tolerant with Best Before dates, improving storage of fresh items, weekly meal planning and growing their own vegetables^.

Coles General Manager Sustainability Brooke Donnelly says Coles is supporting Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week to help tackle the challenge of food waste, which costs Australian households up to $2,500 per year and accounts for 3% of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions*.

“Food waste is a significant issue that’s costing Aussie households and the environment. That’s why we’re launching a new free and easy-to-use checklist to help our customers keep track of what’s in their fridge and ultimately waste less food,” Ms Donnelly said.

“Like our partner Planet Ark, we’re driven to make recycling accessible, simple and convenient for all Australians and we’re proud to be supporting its National Recycling Week, as major sponsor, for a second year running.”

Earlier this year Coles announced a three-year partnership with the leading environmental not-for-profit to work together on a range of waste reduction and recycling initiatives that reduce food waste and unnecessary packaging, and tackle the challenges of plastic waste and recycling.

Planet Ark CEO Rebecca Gilling says the partnership has allowed the organisation to invest in education that provides Australians with information to help them recycle the right way, give items a second life and reduce food waste at home.

“We’re grateful for the support from Coles and commend them for their efforts to reduce food waste, like donating the equivalent of more than 40 million meals to people in need and selling 20,000 tonnes of edible fruit and vegetables flawed in appearance through their I’mPerfect range last financial year,” Ms Gilling said.

“This year’s National Recycling Week theme is ‘what goes around, comes around’ and it’s all about providing simple and actionable tips that help Australians keep valuable resources like food from being waster, whether that’s at home, school or work.”

Other ways in which Coles is working to reduce food waste include:

  • Donating 40.1 million equivalent meals to vulnerable Australians through food rescue organisations SecondBite and Foodbank in FY23, valued at $133 million, an increase from 37.5 million equivalent meals in the previous year.
  • Since 2011 Coles has donated more than 200 million equivalent meals to Australians in need through our partnership with SecondBite.
  • 84% of total solid waste diverted from landfill in FY23, an increase from 82.5% in FY22.
  • 20,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables flawed in appearance sold through the I’mPerfect range in FY23.
  • Conducted a complete measurement of food waste in FY23 across more than 1,800 sites and stores nationally, supported by Stop Food Waste Australia, with data gaps and solutions identified, and it will be repeated annually to inform the actions Coles takes to reduce food waste.

National Recycling Week runs until 19 November. Download the Fridge Checklist here.

^Cost of Living Survey, Coles Circle, 04/10/23 – 06/10/23, n = 8,727.

* National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study.

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