Coles helps Fitzroy locals refill sustainably

Coles has unveiled its newest Coles Local store in Fitzroy, Melbourne, revealing new sustainable features designed to cut plastic and cost.

In a first for Coles, customers can bring their own container and fill it with select dry Scoop & Weigh products, freshly-ground coffee from DC speciality coffee roasters, cereals and granola, candy, bulk smoothie supplements, and frozen fruit sourced from Australian farms.

The store also features an olive oil refill station from Squeaky Gate Growers Co. and a range of refillable shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and laundry liquids from ecostore.

“At Coles Local, we test and trial innovative new features to see how our customers respond,” Coles Chief Sustainability Property and Export officer Thinus Keevé says.

“As part of our Together to Zero strategy to reduce waste and transition to a circular plastic economy, we’re working with our suppliers to find innovative packaging solutions and trial them with our customers. We know that customers want us make it easier for them to recycle, and it doesn’t get much easier than simply using the container again.”

The initiative is one of a number of in-store trials Coles is conducting on reusable packaging, in March partnering with Unilever on a refill station for laundry liquids at Coles Moonee Ponds, and launching Coles’ first refillable station with sustainable body and home care brand ecostore at Chatswood in November 2020.

Meeting local needs and tastes

Continuing Coles’ commitment to supporting local suppliers, the store ranges meats from premium local butcher Meatsmith, chilled cakes from Cremorne Street Bakery, classic tiramisu and rich New York cheesecake from iconic Melbourne café Brunetti, as well as pizzas and pastas from Brunswick’s popular Italian restaurant 400 Gradi.

The store also features a large vegetarian section, bringing just under 300 vegetarian lines (78% of which are also vegan) into one central location, making it easier for customers to find plant-based alternatives.

The section ranges dahls, curries and stews from Shilu’s and Delicious Foods, dairy alternatives including a vegan ‘parmesan’ from Dairy Free Down Under, and hummus and dips from Arlington’s.

Sustainability and support

Coles Local Fitzroy further champions sustainability with free cardboard carry boxes available at the checkout, team member polos made from part recycled materials, and soft plastic recycling options for customers through REDcycle.

The store is also addressing food waste by working with food rescue organisation SecondBite and its community partner St Mary’s House of Welcome — a local open access centre that provides essential services to people who are homeless and experiencing poverty.

As part of Coles’ commitment to the Fitzroy community, the store has donated $5,000 to Fitzroy Primary School to help fund a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden so schoolkids can learn about healthy eating, and will also donate $5,000 to St Mary’s House of Welcome.

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