A Coles shopper is calling for the supermarket to implement an innovative new feature that will drive down plastic waste in Australia - but would customers use it?
The customer posted on the supermarket giant’s Facebook page, urging Coles to consider installing a refill station for cleaning products in stores across the country.
It would follow one grocery giant in Switzerland, who is trialling zero-waste refill stations in stores.
“Can this be considered in Aussie stores?” the customer wrote on Facebook.
Switzerland’s largest supermarket Migros is testing the refill stations in two of its branches as part of its sustainability strategy.
“So you can easily and cleanly refill your empty bottles and help save plastic packaging,” it wrote on Facebook.
“If the offer is well used, we will introduce open sales in other branches.”
Migros customers can use the refill station for four different washing-up liquid products.
“Migros is expanding its range of zero waste products and enabling its customers to use packaging multiple times and save plastic, even for non-food products,” the supermarket said in a statement.
“Customers choose the product they want and place the empty bottle under the filling tap. The system recognises the product based on the barcode on the bottle and fills the appropriate quantity at the push of a button.
“The customer closes the bottle, sticks the newly printed label onto the bottle and pays for the product as usual at the checkout or at the self check-out.
“When the bottle is empty, the customer comes to the branch with it and refills it at the filling station.”
Migros says it is growing its recycling offer, and while plastic is the most ecological and safest packaging for detergents, it is using the refill station as a way to reuse the bottles.
In Australia, supermarkets have shifted to focus more on sustainability, with Coles and Woolworths banning plastic bags in stores in 2018.
In February, Coles also announced a new sustainable Stikeez collectables range, with the supermarket teaming up with a Victoria-based sport shoe recycling program Save Our Soles.
In response to calls for a cleaning product refill station, Coles did not dismiss the idea.
“As you can appreciate, we get many requests from different businesses and customers just like yourself, who want to market ideas with Coles,” the supermarket commented on the customer’s Facebook post.
“Your idea has been referred to the relevant team for their information.”
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment.
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