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Coles Own Brand is trialling the replacement of plastic bread tags with new cardboard varieties that are made from 100 per cent paper-based recycled content, and are recyclable via kerbside collection.

Coles is working together with its bakery partners, including Goodman Fielder, on the plastic bread tag removal initiative.

The trial, which commenced in June with a view to roll-out in 2022, will apply to 254 varieties of Coles Own Brand bread, including both instore baked bread and pre-packaged loaves. 

Once rolled out nationally, this will result in the diversion of approximately 223 million pieces of plastic of 79 tonnes from landfill each year.

Andy Mossop, Coles’ general manager of Bakery, Deli and Seafood, said the change is aligned with Coles’ Together to Zero initiative, which is part of its new sustainability strategy.

“At Coles, we are committed to reducing single-use plastic, and we want to ensure wherever possible that we work with our suppliers to make our packaging recyclable and made with recycled content,” Mossop said.

“We are listening to our customers who have told us in a recent survey that reducing waste to landfill and plastic packaging was the number one concern when it comes to environmental issues in retail, with 69 per cent of those surveyed saying it was of high importance to them.”

To ensure the cardboard tags are recycled in kerbside recycle bins, customers will need to place the tag securely inside other paper or cardboard products, such as a used envelope or paper bag.

This ensures the small tag doesn’t get lost in the recycling process and end up in landfill.

“Our new cardboard bread tags, which will be used on Coles Own Brand pre-packaged loaves, are durable and have undergone rigorous testing and development,” said Mick Anderson, head of sustainability for Goodman Fielder.

“We have used material which is high-quality, ensuring both strength and flexibility to keep bread bags tied, in line with customer expectations.”

Coles is the latest to join the recyclable bread bags and tags movement, joining bread brands Helga’s, Tip Top and Wonder in addressing packaging sustainability.

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