Coles has slashed throwaway plastic containers at one of its Melbourne stores, introducing new package-free refill stations that dispense shampoo, body and hand wash, and other laundry liquids instead. The revamped store in Moonee Ponds is part of the supermarket chain’s renewed focus on sustainability.
Cardboard boxes are available for customers at the supermarket in Melbourne’s northwest. At the same time, plastic packaging has been removed from herbs, chili punnets, prepacked leeks, celery sticks, continental cucumbers, and tricolored capsicums.
Refill stations around the store dispense laundry soaps, household detergents, body and hand wash, shampoo, and conditioner from popular Australian brands Omo, Surf, and Sukin in a bid to curb throwaway plastic containers. There was also a fruit and veg bar where customers could have their produce sliced or diced right in front of them or squeezed into a freshly made juice.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the launch of the revamped store was an essential step in the chain’s mission to focus on sustainability. “A key part of our ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket will be reducing our environmental impact, and we have a responsibility to help create a better Australia for future generations,” he said.
Coles Marine Reusable Shopping Bags – made with 80 percent recycled content and 20 percent marine industry waste – were introduced. Shopping baskets made from 90 percent recycled milk bottles and 10 percent recycled plastic have also been brought into rotation.
It’s also the first Coles store to be upgraded with a natural refrigeration solution which claims to “virtually eliminate greenhouse gas emission from refrigerant gases”. Waste heat captured from the refrigeration system helps warm the store.
The new store opened as Coles Group released its climate change position statement last month, where it announced targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It committed to delivering net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the entire Coles Group to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of the 2025 financial year.