An annoyed Coles shopper has hit out at the supermarket chain for being “environmentally irresponsible” the same day it announced plastic tableware will be removed by July 1.
In a post to the Coles Facebook page, the customer griped that her delivery items were packed with one or two products in each bag.
“Can I ask why a separate bag was used for each item or for two small items? Isn't this a waste of plastic?” she wrote, noting that customers pay 15 cents per bag - which Coles has confirmed.
“One whole bag was used for a Salada box of crisps and one whole bag was used for a one pack of juice boxes,” the shopper said.
“This is environmentally irresponsible and wasting customer's money.”
A Coles spokesperson responded to the customer’s complaint, saying the number of bags received in a delivery are determined by the way the orders are picked.
“Our pickers collect items for multiple orders, from their allocated aisles of the supermarket. As such, if you only have one item from your order in that picker’s area, it will be in a bag by itself,” they said.
“We are required to provide plastic bags due to health and safety concerns, as well as a respect for customers' privacy.
The Coles employee said the supermarket trialled the use of rustable bags and cardboard boxes but received mixed feedback, and it “caused a significant upward pressure on delivery fees”.
“These can be reused or recycled in one of the REDcycle bins located at all Coles Supermarkets.
“That being said, we'll be sure to share your feedback with the relevant teams for their consideration and we're sorry for any hassle caused,” the spokesperson said.
The shopper was quick to respond and disagreed with Coles’ statement.
“I don't believe that's correct because in one bag we had a box of Salada with a box of washing detergent as well,” she said.
“Also the juice boxes they could have put them in one bag, but instead they put two in one bag and one in a separate bag.”
The supermarket employee apologised once again and recommended the shopper call the Coles Online Team so they could look into it.
“We are disappointed to hear about this customer’s experience and have contacted them to learn more," a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
"Plastic bags are essential to keep items together during the online shopping process and are necessary for health and safety reasons with some products.
"Coles Better Bags can be recycled at all Coles supermarkets. More than 1 billion pieces of flexible plastic have been collected by REDcycle since 2011.”
Coles phases out plastic tableware
The Coles customer’s complaint was posted the same day the supermarket announced it will stop selling single-use plastic tableware products from July 1.
Removing the items, including plastic cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery, from supermarket shelves will divert 1.5 million kilograms of plastic from landfills annually, a Coles Group spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The move effects all Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express outlets and Coles Liquor stores.
The decision prompted Woolworths to reveal it will begin phasing out its entire range of unnecessary plastics, telling Yahoo News Australia the items would be replaced by sustainable options in the "near future".
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