A group of mums are calling for a boycott on Coles Little Shop collectables as the supermarket giant’s promotion coincides with Plastic Free July.
On Friday Coles confirmed the eagerly awaited release of their second Little Shop collectables range coming July 17.
The collection of 30 mini items will once again be sold with a collector’s case, mini trolleys, baskets and aprons, along with the new additions of a Coles replica truck and a toy cash register.
Woolworths also announced the same day it would be launching its line of collectables – limited edition Ooshies featuring characters from The Lion King.
Coles has been slammed since its announcement for giving out “plastic junk” and a change.org petition to ban the toys has attracted almost 500 signatures.
“Are you gobsmacked that Coles has brought out a new range of ‘Little Shop’ toys during Plastic Free July?” the petition says.
“Wow ... Coles ... just wow ... you have just proved you really do not care for our children’s future by bringing these so called ‘collectables’ back.
“This is when most people are doing their best to bring their own bags, choosing less packaging on their foods and saying no to straws. Here you are handing out plastic junk that will end in landfill or in our oceans.”
The petition said the promotion was a “slap in the face” for all people who cared about the planet.
“It’s time to think of our children and what their future will look like with all this unnecessary plastic,” it reads.
One comment on the petition said Coles was “irresponsible” while another claimed both Coles and Woolworths were “manipulating kids with crap that further destroys the planet”.
“We need to change our habits, adding more unnecessary plastic items to landfill for the sake of a novelty is just selfish and careless,” another said.
A woman who shared the petition on Facebook said it was a good opportunity for people to stand together and do something good for the environment.
“... the fact these supermarkets have phased out single-use plastic bags, it beggars belief they are doing the rounds again of this no use landfill garbage,” she said.
Toys found washed up on beaches
The petition comes after a woman found one of the plastic toys washed up on a beach in Bali in November last year.
The promotion sparked controversy too when it was launched last July due to the devastating effects plastic has on the environment.
A Sunshine Coast man also found one of the collectables washed up on Buddina Beach in August.
Coles told Yahoo News Australia at the time its collectables used plastic that were fully recyclable, including its packaging.
“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 spokesperson said.
“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.
Coles responded to a woman’s plea on the supermarket’s Facebook page on Sunday to not launch the promotion.
“The Little Shop mini collectables are designed for customers to keep and not dispose of and customers can choose whether they would like to collect or not,” Coles replied.
“Last year we saw customers collecting and swapping with their friends, family and colleagues and they really valued the minis as collectables to be kept in the future.”
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment.
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