Woolworths launches new range of collectables - here's how to get them

Toys celebrate Aussie farmers, but at what cost to the environment?

Woolworths Bricks fever is back, with the much-anticipated return of the family favourite collectables to stores in February, this time championing Aussie farmers. The range, known as Bricks Farm, launches in-store from Wednesday February 8, and aims to teach kids about where food comes from before it hits supermarket shelves.

Featuring people and equipment involved in growing fresh Australian fruit and vegetables, the new line of collectables - made using 100 per cent recycled plastic - has everything you need to create a full mini farm ecosystem. This includes a farmer, several farm animals as well as fruit trees and farming equipment and a produce buyer, of course.

Woolworths Bricks Farm
The new line of Woolworths Bricks is designed to teach youngsters where our fresh produce comes from. Source: Supplied

"As Today's Fresh Food People, it is important that we share and celebrate the role our Aussie farmers play in providing the fresh produce customers enjoy," says Woolworths Group Chief Marketing Officer, Andrew Hicks on the launch of the new range. "We hope the second chapter of our Bricks collectable once again encourages our customers to learn more about where their food comes from through interactive play."

Woolworths Bricks Farm
There are 40 different packs of Woolworths Bricks Farm pieces to go with the starter pack. Source: Supplied

Woolworths says Bricks Farm, like the original collection, has been given the tick of approval by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), meaning it has been independently assessed to ensure it meets stringent environmental considerations. Customers are also able to return duplicate or pre-loved pieces from Bricks and Bricks Farm to their local store to be recycled through Woolworths partnership with TerraCycle.

Fans will be able to collect Bricks Farm packs however they choose to shop; via Pick Up, Direct to Boot, Metro60, online delivery or in stores. Just spend $30 and you will receive a Woolworths Bricks Farm pack to start building your creation. A total of 40 different Woolworths Bricks Farm packs will be available to collect.

Woolies accused of greenwashing over plastic waste

When asked about the sustainability claim behind the collectables, environmental scientist Dr Paul Harvey, author of The Plasticology Project, suggests in the struggle to combat waste, recycling plastic appears to be a good solution for certain applications, but it's a technically difficult and energy-intensive process that should not be wasted on a "gimmick giveaway".

"When we think about sensible uses of plastic, we have to stop and ask ourselves - is this a sensible use of plastic? Plastic is an important product in the modern world, but we have so many applications where it is neither sensible or necessary, Dr Harvey told Yahoo News Australia. "Globally we are struggling to reduce plastic pollution, so why does a supermarket that claims to be moving towards reducing plastic continue to use plastic promotional items - non-essential uses of plastic - that are contributing to the plastic waste problem? It makes no sense."

Dr Harvey went on to say the claims around 100 per cent recycled and an environmental "tick of approval" are simply greenwashing. "It is a way to convince consumers that these promotional items are OK to collect, OK to be handed out, and OK to distribute into homes, schools, playgrounds and anywhere else kids will take the toys. Whatever perceived waste management strategy has been assigned to this product once the promotion has finished and the kids get bored, I can assure you that it won't happen that way in reality."

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