A disgruntled Coles shopper has lambasted the supermarket over excessive packaging on her latest online order, branding it a “blatant disregard” for the planet.
The customer, from Canberra, took to the supermarket giant’s Facebook page to express her discontent over the amount of fruit and vegetable bags used to package her fresh produce, despite requesting to have no bags.
“Having one onion or one lemon in a plastic bag is really not necessary and makes me quite furious about the waste and blatant disregard for the climate,” she said.
The shopper said being sent plastic bags when requesting not to have them “kind of defeats the purpose” of such an option.
The shopper urged Coles to “get with the program” when it came to reducing plastic waste.
However a Coles spokesperson responded to the customer’s post online, saying it wasn’t possible to omit plastic fruit and vegetable bags for “health and safety reasons”.
“We can advise that plastic bags are essential to keep your items together during the shopping process, and are necessary for health and safety reasons with some products,” the spokesperson said.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles regarding the matter.
Discontent over supermarkets’ plastic use continues
The reduction of plastics used in supermarkets has been a contentious issue in recent years in Australia.
While a single-use plastic bag ban was implemented at Coles and Woolworths in June last year, experts have warned with no statistics released on how many plastic reusable bags sold, there was no evidence to suggest plastic usage had decreased.
And the supermarkets have continued to face backlash over their continued use of plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables inside stores.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the supermarket understood the concerns of its shoppers, but insisted it was essential to reduce food wastage.
Both supermarkets have reiterated on several occasions their continued work recycling soft plastics through their REDcycle scheme.
In the last financial year, 226 million pieces of soft plastics were returned in store at Coles – a 32 per cent increase on the previous year.
In August, European supermarket Lidl introduced reusable fruit and vegetable bags in the UK.
Coles and Woolworths failed to comment when asked by Yahoo News Australia if they’d be interested in rolling out a similar product.
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