Coles has been slammed for its new range of mini collectables with many Aussies claiming the major supermarket doesn’t care about the environment and is simply creating “unnecessary plastic”
This week the store launched its second Little Shop range which includes 30 mini collectable toys which resemble popular food items, such as Vegemite, Heinz baked beans, Tip Top bread and Campbell’s tomato soup following the success of last year’s campaign.
While some headed to the shops immediately to start their collection, others haven’t been so impressed by the scheme, with one concerned woman even starting a petition via change.org to stop Coles from handing out the items.
“Wow… Coles… just wow… You have just proved you really do not care for our children’s future by bringing these so called ‘collectables’ back,” petition creator Sara Coates wrote.
“This is when most people are doing their best to bring their own bags, choosing less packaging on their food and saying no to straws. Here you are handing out plastic junk that will end in landfill or in our oceans.”‘
The annoyed woman continued by describing it as a “slap in the face” for those who care about the future of the planet and called for Australians to boycott the supermarket all together.
“Sure, I get you want higher profits but couldn’t you have come up with something that isn’t plastic?” she questioned. “If you really wanted to give our children something to collect why couldn’t it be environmentally thoughtful?”
She added: “It’s time to think of our children and what their future will look like with all this unnecessary plastic. Let’s use our wallets as voices and not shop there anymore.”
The petition has since received over 51,000 signatures from concerned Aussies with a goal to reach 75,000 while many others have left comments of anger.
“I’m serious about making the changes we need to engage to save our world and map a secure future for our children,” someone wrote. “I do not/will not shop at an establishment that doesn’t share my values. Time to show some leadership Coles.”
While another added: “This is just jaw-droppingly stupid. These are not collectables, their rubbish never goes away. Is this how we show the next generation we care about the planet we’re leaving them?”
However, Coles has backed its decision to bring back the collectables, claiming they had many requests from customers to release a second round of the items. A spokesperson for the supermarket also said their research shows the majority of shoppers keep the collectables and do not throw them out as has been claimed.
“Australians fell in love with Little Shop minis and told us about the fun they had collecting, swapping and sharing with their friends, families and communities,” they explained.
“We had many requests to bring it back and customers told us they loved to collect and keep their minis. Rather than throwing them out, our customer research shows that of the customers who collected minis last year, 94 per cent have either kept them or given them to family or friends who were collecting.”
The spokesperson explained the wrappers of the collectables could also be recycled to reduce waste at Coles supermarkets through the in-store RedCycle program. There is even an option for online deliveries with shoppers able to return the packaging to the driver to be recycled.
“As part of our commitment to better environmental outcomes, RedCycle allows customers to recycle soft plastics in provided bins at their nearest Coles store to be repurposed into outdoor furniture for pre-schools and primary schools,” the spokesperson said.