Helping Customers Reduce Food Waste

planet ark

AUS | Coles wants to help its customers reduce food waste and save on their grocery bills this National Recycling Week by releasing a checklist to help families track what's in their fridges. 

As a major sponsor of Planet Ark's National Recycling Week, Coles encourages customers to download the free Fridge Checklist to help households use their groceries before they spoil to reduce the 7.6 million tonnes of food waste in Australia each year. 

The national campaign launches as a Coles survey reveals 76 percent of Australians admit they are making changes to reduce food waste, such as using more leftovers, making meals go further, being more tolerant with Best Before dates, improving the storage of fresh items, weekly meal planning and growing their vegetables. 

Coles General Manager Sustainability Brooke Donnelly said Coles was supporting Planet Ark's National Recycling Week to help tackle the challenge of food waste, which costs Australian households up to $2,500 per year and accounts for three percent of the country's annual greenhouse gas emissions. 

"Food waste is a significant issue costing Aussie households and the environment. That's why we're launching a new free and easy-to-use checklist to help our customers keep track of what's in their fridge and ultimately waste less food," said Donnelly. 

"Like our partner Planet Ark, we're driven to make recycling accessible, simple and convenient for all Australians, and we're proud to support its National Recycling Week as a major sponsor for a second year running."

Earlier this year, Coles announced a three-year partnership with the leading environmental not-for-profit to work together on a range of waste reduction and recycling initiatives that reduce food waste and unnecessary packaging and tackle the challenges of plastic waste and recycling. 

Planet Ark CEO Rebecca Gilling said the partnership has allowed the organisation to invest in education that provides Australians with information to help them recycle correctly, give items a second life and reduce food waste at home. 

"We're grateful for the support from Coles and commend them for their efforts to reduce food waste, like donating the equivalent of more than 40 million meals to people in need and selling 20,000 tonnes of edible fruit and vegetables flawed in appearance through their I'mPerfect range last financial year," said Gilling.  

"This year's National Recycling Week theme is 'what goes around, comes around', and it's all about providing simple and actionable tips that help Australians keep valuable resources like food from being wasted, whether at home, school or work."

Other ways in which Coles is working to reduce food waste include: 

  •   Donating 40.1 million equivalent meals to vulnerable Australians through food rescue organisations SecondBite and Foodbank in FY23, valued at $133 million, an increase from 37.5 million equivalent meals in the previous year
  •   Since 2011, Coles has donated more than 200 million equivalent meals to Australians in need through its partnership with SecondBite
  •   84 percent of total solid waste diverted from landfills in FY23, an increase from 82.5 percent in FY22
  •   20,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables flawed in appearance sold through the I'mPerfect range in FY23 
  •   Conducted a complete measurement of food waste in FY23 across more than 1,800 sites and stores nationally, supported by Stop Food Waste Australia, with data gaps and solutions identified, and it will be repeated annually to inform the actions Coles takes to reduce food waste.