Coles is a Major Sponsor of Planet Ark's National Recycling Week, which was established in 1996 to encourage Australians across the country to engage in recycling education - improving recycling habits and keeping valuable resources out of landfill.

Coles’ purpose is to sustainably help all Australians lead healthier, happier lives. Minimising its environmental footprint is an important part of Coles’ Sustainability Strategy.

The strategy includes two focus areas, Together to Zero and Better Together. Together to Zero sets out ambitions across the key sustainability areas of climate change, waste and hunger. Better Together ensures the wellbeing of employees, suppliers and community and works towards positive social change.

Together to zero waste

Reducing food waste and packaging are important to Coles’ customers. By working with industry partners, suppliers and government, Coles aims to increase food security, reduce waste and conserve valuable resources.

Coles supports and is aligned to the delivery of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.

They are working towards the following targets with respect to all Coles Own Brand and Coles Liquor Own Brand packaging in Australia:

  • 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable
  • Include an average of 50% recycled content
  • Carry the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL). (More on this below.)
  • Phase out problematic, and unnecessary single-use plastic

In November 2021, Coles won two Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) Awards for Packaging Strategy and leadership:

  • Large Retailer award celebrating the top performing organisations based on core scores in APCO’s Annual Reporting Process and its performance against the Packaging Sustainability Framework criteria; and
  • Our Packaging Future Award for Packaging Sustainability Education – Industry Education, highlighting how Coles is working together with its suppliers on education and enablement.

Packaging and recycling guidance

While Planet Ark research has shown Australians are generally good recyclers and want to do the right thing, we have also found evidence that many people are confused whether common packaging items can be recycled. The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) provides guidance on how to correctly recycle or dispose of various packaging components and supports the National Packaging Target of 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted. As of June 2023 Coles has successfully added the Australasian Recycle Label (ARL) to all its Own Brand products***.

Coles and National Recycling Week

Coles is a Major Sponsor of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, which will explore the theme “What goes around comes around” in 2023. The theme reflects the importance of correct recycling behaviours to ensure Australia can produce high-quality products made with recycled materials – because what goes around comes around. Together with Coles, Planet Ark hopes to educate and provide guidance to encourage Australians to recycle right, reduce food waste and keep valuable resources in circulation and out of landfill.

Learn more about Coles’ sustainability ambitions and initiatives.

*** To avoid waste, some items without the ARL may still appear in stores until sold