Coles to stop selling single-use plastic plates, cups and cutlery by July 1, 2021 to cut down on waste

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Supermarket giant Coles will soon stop selling single-use plastic tableware and cutlery.
In an effort to cut down on waste, shops across the country will stop stocking plastic products such as cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery by July 1.

This is predicted to reduce the amount of single use plastic in landfill by 1.5 million kilograms a year.

Coles Supermarkets will stop selling a range of single-us plastics later this year. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Coles CEO Steven Cain said the company is working to help the environment but also respond to its customer’s needs.

“Ensuring the sustainability of our business is essential to our future success and being the first major Australian supermarket to commit to removing all single-use plastic tableware from our stores is central to our ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket,” Mr Cain said.

Clean Up Australia Chairman Pip Kiernan said single-use plastic items such as tableware accounted for around 18 per cent of the items collected by volunteers last year.

Coles CEO Steven Cain is seen here during tour of new store format at Pagewood in 2019.
Coles CEO Steven Cain is seen here during tour of new store format at Pagewood in 2019. (Edwina Pickles)

“Too many of these items end up in our parks, waterways, beaches and roadsides and if left there damage our precious environment for hundreds of years, outliving all of us,” Ms Kiernan said.

“We applaud Coles for listening to their customers and taking the lead in replacing these single use plastic items.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans MP welcomed the move by Coles.

Single-use plastic tablewear will be phased out across the country by July 1, 2021.

In South Australia the legislated single-use plastic tableware will be gone by 1 March 2021, in line with state law.