Australian supermarket chain Coles turns plastic from waterways and marine litter into reusable shopping bags

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Supermarket giant Coles has a new reusable bag in stores that not only eliminates waste from the environment, but also reduces the need for virgin plastic.

Australian supermarket giant Coles has taken another step to further protect the environment, using plastic from waterways to make reusable shopping bags.

The reusable bags that are currently being rolled out across the country are made from 80% recycled plastic, 20% of which is marine waste.

The marine litter used was recovered from inland areas and rivers feeding the oceans, mainly in Malaysia.

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Coles spokesman Thinus Keevé said the new bags not only remove waste from the environment, but also reduce the need for virgin plastic.

“We pride ourselves on providing convenient and practical shopping bags that make shopping easier for our customers while supporting a circular economy for plastic bags and packaging,” he said in a statement.

“We encourage our customers to reuse their bags as often as possible.”

When your bag reaches the end of its useful life, you can take it to the soft plastic collection point inside any Coles store and recycle it.

“Coles and our customers have collected over 2.3 billion pieces of flexible plastic through REDcycle since 2011 and we plan to continue this journey to divert plastic packaging from landfills.”

The supermarket chain has also pledged to donate one per cent of the sale of each bag sold to Clean Up Australia’s Buy Recycled scheme.

Clean Up Australia chairman Pip Kiernan said the bags are a great example of how recycled materials can be used to create a circular economy solution to plastic waste.

“It’s great to see the Recycled Content Marine Reusable Shopping Bag available as an option for shoppers across the country. It’s a clear demonstration of how materials once considered waste have been used to create a useful and reusable bag,” she said.

Coles is also rolling out reusable mesh produce bags made from 90% recycled materials that customers can purchase and reuse when shopping for fruits and vegetables.

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