Coles says it will be Australia’s first national supermarket retailer to introduce recyclable packaging for fresh meat and poultry trays.
According to the supermarket, the packaging will be made entirely from a combination of recycled and renewable material.
Coles is buying an expected 121 million recyclable meat and poultry trays in 2018 from bioplastics manufacturer Plantic Technologies. With this material, it aims to use the equivalent of 150 million recycled water bottles. Its goal, it says, is to combat Australia’s plastic waste.
Plantic’s barrier trays are made from recycled PET. They have a thin layer of Plantic’s renewable barrier material, which helps keeps the meat fresh. During recycling, the thin plant-starch layer washes away, allowing the tray to be recycled.
“This is an important new step in our goal to become more sustainable,” Coles Director of Fresh Alex Freudmann said.
“For four years, our Coles Brand beef, lamb and pork mince has been packaged in recyclable trays sourced from Plantic.
“We now want to take the next step by transitioning a wider range of our fresh meat and poultry trays to Plantic’s new packaging, so that it is not just recyclable, but also made from recycled plastics and renewable plant materials, including corn.
“We understand the important role that packaging plays in maintaining food safety, supporting product longevity and reducing food waste.
“At the same time, we’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment. We continue to look for opportunities to increase the content of recycled material in Coles Brand packaging.”
Plantic’s materials carry the Australian Recycling Label. This was launched by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), PlanetArk and PREP Design. It gives consumers information on what packaging can be recycled and whether it can be recycled in kerbside recycling, through REDcycle soft-plastics recycling.
In June, Coles made a pledge to make all Coles Brand packaging recyclable by 2020. As part of this pledge, Coles committed to replacing packaging for a wide range of meat and poultry products with packaging made from recycled and renewable materials.