• Coles is moving to remove tamper seals from its milk range.
    Coles is moving to remove tamper seals from its milk range.
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Coles has begun to phase out the use of plastic bottle seals for its 2L and 3L milk bottles, aiming to remove over 10,000kg of plastic from circulation. This follows Woolworths' move to replace its coloured milk lids with clear ones in a bid to increase recyclability.

Coles says that in certain states, the seals have already been removed from some bottles, and it is expanding the rollout to “to relevant suppliers when suitable”.

A spokesperson for Coles said, “Coles is always looking for ways to reduce unnecessary plastic from circulation and while our seals were originally used to reduce instances of leaking bottles, over time, packaging design of both the bottle and the lid have improved and the seals are no longer required.”

The tamper seals on Coles milk bottles are being removed in certain states.
The tamper seals on Coles milk bottles are being removed in certain states.

The spokesperson clarified that while some suppliers have commenced this transition, not all processing sites have, and Coles will be working on the implementation of this change with each state when suitable.

The reaction on social media platform Reddit has been mixed. Some shoppers applauded the removal of excess plastic, while others said the amount was insignificant, and hope the savings would be passed onto consumers and suppliers.

There were also concerns that without the seal, it is difficult to know whether the product has been tampered with, with one commenter saying, “How do we know if they have been tampered with if there is no ring and no seal?”

A spokesperson for Coles clarified to PKN that in states where the tamper seals have already been removed, a tamper-proof band is used which detaches from the lid upon opening.

In states where the seal has been removed, a tamper-proof band is used, which detaches from the lid upon opening.
In states where the seal has been removed, a tamper-proof band is used, which detaches from the lid upon opening.

The most highly upvoted comment said that Coles didn’t have the tamper seal before, then added it, and is now “patting itself on the back for removing the waste”. One user’s response was that it amounted to “corporate posturing”.

Others commented that before the introduction of the tamper seal, the milk had a tendency to leak. Coles says it has addressed this with improved bottle and lid design.

One LinkedIn, one sustainable packaging expert asked whether Coles would follow Woolworths in replacing the coloured lids with clear ones, a move which would improve the amount of material recyclable.

 

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