'Absolute joke': Man outraged after Coles Little Shop plastic washed up on beach

A Sunshine Coast man is outraged after finding a plastic Coles Little Shop Mini Collectable washed up on a beach.

Tyson Jones posted a picture of one of the Coles collectables he claims he found washed up on Buddina Beach at Point Cartwright while walking his dog.

“As usual I collected any signs of plastic and fishing material along the high tide line when I came across the Coles product,” Mr Jones told Yahoo7.

“When I first heard about the promotion I thought to myself how long would it be before these items started ending up in our ocean and surely enough in no time I was picking one off my local beach.”

Coles was criticised last month over its continued use of plastic by introducing 30 miniature versions of everyday supermarket products on the back of its ban on single-use plastic bags.

Mr Jones echoed that sentiment, labelling Coles “an absolute joke” on Facebook.

A Sunshine Coast man found a Coles Little Shop collectable washed up on Buddina Beach at Point Cartwright in Queensland. Source: Facebook/ Tyson Jones

“When the planet is already faced with the prospect of a greater mass of plastic than fish in our ocean by 2050, you introduce this totally useless/none valuable/non-biodegradable item into our community,” he wrote.  

“What message are you delivering to our children when the rest of the world makes efforts to combat the effect of global environment degradation, your marketing team comes up with this genius idea?”

His post has been shared more than 1200 times and has more than 3700 likes but it’s left users divided as to whether the public should specifically be pointing the finger at Coles.

“Any one of a billion produced pieces of plastic could end up there? It’s on general public to be mindful of their waste – not the company producing them,” one man commented.

The Coles mini collectables include a Nutella jar, Weetbix and Vegemite. Source: Coles

‘Companies and individuals need to start taking steps’

Another suggested the Coles collectables were just like any other child’s toy – all made of plastic.

“Are we going to stop all toy manufacturers from making plastic toys then?” one woman wrote. 

However, others have suggested people are ignoring the waste issue and the effect plastic is having on the environment.

“He has a good point, I don’t see why so many people are getting the s****?” one woman wrote.

“I mean, if you want to kill our planet with plastic then sure, but anyone who thinks this post is dumb is part of the problem.”

Coles has copped criticism over its introduction of the collectables after banning single-use plastic bags. Source: Coles

Another woman thanked Mr Jones for his post saying she “100 per cent agrees” with him. 

“I hope your message is received loud and clear by Coles,” she wrote.

Mr Jones clarified his statement, adding he doesn’t want plastic production completely stopped as “everything in our society contains some traces of the material”.

“However, both companies and individuals need to start taking small steps to decrease their use of single-use plastic,” he said.

Coles say Little Shop products are recyclable

Coles has previously told Yahoo7 its collectables used plastics, which are fully recyclable, including its packaging, as part of a new initiative.

“The Little Shop campaign only runs for a limited time and customers are able to recycle the wrappers at their nearest store through our in-store REDCycle program,” a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo7 News. 

“For Coles Online deliveries, mini collectable packaging can be returned to the driver, and recycled through our REDCycle program.” 

The spokesperson said the plastic recycled is repurposed into outdoor furniture for preschools and primary schools as well as being used to make road base.

Over the weekend, Coles hosted an official swap day for anyone looking to exchange collectables at a number of stores