A shopper is seen carrying a reusable plastic bag from Coles.
A shopper is seen carrying a reusable plastic bag from Coles.

Anger as Coles rolls out more plastic

JUST weeks after supermarket giant Coles implemented a plastic bag ban in thousands of stores they have outraged some customers by rolling out a new marketing campaign with dozens of items made from plastic.

The supermarket's new collectables set, dubbed Little Shop, includes 30 miniature versions of popular products including Vegemite, Weetbix, Nutella, Chobani and Tim Tams that children can collect from today.

But many consumers and environmentalists are livid the supermarket that dumped single-use plastic bags has soon after rolled out more items made from materials including plastic.

Outraged customers have posted comments on the supermarket's Facebook site voicing their anger at the miniatures collection.

"Ohhh. Let's ban plastic bags and straws to help the environment … and now let's bring out a range of plastic grocery item replicas that will all end up needing hundreds of years to break down in the environment. Coles this is pathetic,'' wrote Rick Kean.

The Coles Little Shop collection includes  30 miniature versions of popular products.
The Coles Little Shop collection includes 30 miniature versions of popular products.

Another shopper Paul Laurence criticised the collectables, writing "have you seen the amount of plastic and other materials that are going to waste!"

The 30-miniature collectables, which are made in China, are replicas of some of the supermarket's most popular items.

Customers can opt to receive them at the checkout for every $30 spent at Coles.

But environmentalist coalition group Boomerang Alliance's director Jeff Angel said many of these miniature items will end up be "landfilled or littered" and "polluting the environment".

"The first question the marketing people should have asked was 'should we put more short term plastic items into the environment?" he said.

"An embarrassing decision during plastic-free July, that is being embraced by more and more consumers."

Further items are also available to purchase in the promotion. Picture: Coles
Further items are also available to purchase in the promotion. Picture: Coles

A Coles spokeswoman said many customers were "very excited" about the collection and confirmed many of the items are made of a range of materials including plastic.

"The miniature replicas are made from a range of material including paper, cardboard, plastic and foam,'' she said.

"Where possible they are made out of the same material as the genuine products to make them as realistic as possible.

"It's designed to be fun for our customers and celebrate some of the most popular products on our supermarket shelves."

Other items as part of Little Shop that can be purchased include a collector case, shopping basket, trolley and storefront and apron/bag. The items are all plastic and not consumable.

From July 1, Coles axed giving single-use grey plastic bags in Victoria, NSW, Qld and WA in a move that had a mixed response from consumers.

Rival supermarket Woolworths dumped the use of single-use bags from June 20.

But the supermarkets have faced ongoing backlash from customers on the bag removal, promoting them to adopt tactics including handing out free 15 cent reusable bags for free and giving customers rewards points if they bring their own bags.

The move to dump the bags was to help reduce the environmental impact of the grey plastic bags.



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