Coles has been called out for “mass-producing waste” after one of their highly-sought after Stikeez figurines washed up on Hamilton Island – some 34 kilometres away from the nearest supermarket.
Local resident Bec Gallagher took aim at the supermarket giant after discovering the miniature parsnip on the sands of the idyllic Queensland beach this week, telling the supermarket to “stop wasting our resources”.
“Hey Coles supermarkets, look what I found on Hamilton Island, is this yours?” she wrote in a scathing Facebook post.
“How about you stop producing mass waste products and try something environmentally friendly for a change?
“We don’t even have a Coles here.”
Dozens of social media users threw their support behind Ms Gallagher, questioning why the supermarket was undoing any progress made through their ban on single use plastic bags last year.
While Coles has spent the last couple of months proudly promoting their partnered campaign with the Healthy Kids Association, the Stikeez range has drawn a level contempt previously unseen in their recent Little Shop campaigns.
More than 12,000 protestors have emailed the supermarket’s CEO Steve Cain, saying that they are sick of “wasteful and useless plastic promotions” that will cause a “legacy of plastic waste”.
“Just like your ‘Little Shop’ promotion, these plastic items will find their way into creeks and the ocean injuring marine life, or will sit for thousands of years in landfill after they are inevitably thrown out,” the petition read.
“Everyone supports healthy eating for children, but there are better ways. Encouraging wasteful and useless plastic consumption is a terrible message for young people who will inherit this legacy of waste.”
Earlier this week, shoppers were warned to keep their eye out for fake Stikeez being sold online by those looking to capitalise on the popularity of the craze.
A rare golden banana last week sold on eBay for more than $20,000.
Minis designed for longevity, Coles say
A Coles spokesperson previously told Yahoo News that the Stikeez are designed for customers to keep “for a long time” and not dispose of.
“Customers can choose not to receive them and for those who do we hope they enjoy them for a long time into the future,” the spokesperson said.
“Collectable cases are also available for purchase to ensure the collectables can be displayed and kept.
“The Stikeez campaign only runs for a limited time and customers are able to recycle the individual wrappers at their nearest Coles store.
“We have ensured that the plastic material used for the wrappers can be accepted and processed by our in-store RedCycle program.”
Coles has been contacted for comment regarding the latest incident.
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