Thursday, April 18, 2024

Putting the lid on food waste

Coles is trialing the first zero waste to landfill supermarket that includes a partnership with Cleanaway to convert waste into fuel.

One of its supermarkets in Sydney’s west has become the first Australian supermarket to trial zero waste to landfill as one of several initiatives to help Coles meet its commitment to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.

Sydney supermarket prevents over six trolleys finding way to landfill

As part of a trial, the supermarket at Wentworth Point is sending zero waste to landfill, preventing the equivalent of six and a half shopping trolleys going to landfill each day.

The purpose of the trial is to change in-store processes, put greater focus on source separation, and to partner with new facilities to use waste as a resource. This will mean more packaged and unpackaged food, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, wax boxes, polystyrene and timber will be diverted from landfill.

The zero waste to landfill trial store will find new ways to recover residual dry waste such as mixed plastic and timber which historically has been the most difficult to divert from landfill.

Energy recovery from waste

Coles is partnering with Cleanaway to recover energy from this waste through the Cleanaway ResourceCo Recovery Facility in Wetherill Park. The facility uses dry waste to produce process engineered fuel, which is then used to offset the demands of heavy industry for fossil fuels.

The trial comes as Coles Group has released its first sustainability report as a standalone publicly listed company which sets out the group’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact including working towards diverting 90 per cent of waste from landfill by 2022.

“At Coles, we are proud of our partnership with food rescue services Secondbite and Foodbank. Through our supermarkets and distribution centres we donated 12.5 million kilograms of unsold edible food to SecondBite and Foodbank last financial year – the equivalent of 25 million meals for people in need,” Coles Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said.

“Many supermarkets also provide food waste directly to farmers to use as animal feed. These stores across our Coles network donated 13.8 million kilograms to farmers last financial year, an increase of 11 per cent.”

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