Coles introduces renewable meat packaging

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Coles RPET trayColes will be the first national supermarket retailer in Australia to introduce recyclable packaging made entirely from a combination of recycled and renewable material for a wide range of its Coles Brand fresh meat and poultry products.

By purchasing an expected 121 million recyclable meat and poultry trays in 2018 from renowned Australian manufacturer Plantic Technologies, Coles is aiming to use the equivalent of 150 million recycled water bottles to combat Australia’s plastic waste.

The barrier trays are made from recycled PET, with a thin layer of renewable barrier material which helps keeps the meat fresh. During the recycling process, the thin plant starch layer uniquely washes away, allowing the PET tray to be recycled.

Coles Director of Fresh, Alex Freudmann, said the new packaging is an important step towards Coles' goal to become more sustainable.

"For four years, our Coles Brand beef, lamb and pork mince has been packaged in recyclable trays sourced from Plantic. We now want to take the next step by transitioning a wider range of our fresh meat and poultry trays to Plantic’s new packaging so that it is not just recyclable but also made from recycled plastics and renewable plant materials including corn,” he said.

“We understand the important role that packaging plays in maintaining food safety, supporting product longevity and reducing food waste, at the same time, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and continue to look for opportunities to increase the content of recycled material in Coles Brand packaging and improving recycling communication to customers on pack.”

Plantic’s materials carry the Australian Recycling Label (ARL.org.au) launched by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), PlanetArk and PREP Design, which provides consumers with information on what packaging can be recycled and whether it can be recycled in kerbside recycling, through REDcycle soft plastics recycling.