Recycling and waste
This year, we decreased our waste to landfill by four per cent to 154 thousand tonnes and decreased our waste recycled by six per cent to 351 tonnes. This was primarily due to waste diversion projects at Coles, Target and Officeworks.
Our main sources of waste are cardboard, food and plastic at Coles. Coles is focused on innovating and improving its recycling programs across these areas. The total amount of waste recycled by Coles decreased three per cent this year, while waste to landfill decreased eight per cent. Coles is combating food waste in stores and the supply chain by partnering with SecondBite. Through this partnership it ensures that edible, surplus food ends up on the plates of people in need instead of contributing to landfill.
Coles has replaced some corrugated cardboard, waxed cardboard and expanded polystyrene boxes with reusable plastic crates across its supply chain. At the end of FY18, it had six million reusable plastic crates in circulation with over 400 suppliers being used for fruit, vegetables, poultry, red meat and pre-packaged salads. In addition to removing cardboard, waxed cardboard and expanded polystyrene from the supply chain, these crates help to reduce product damage which cuts down on food waste. Coles plans to introduce additional reusable plastic crates in collaboration with more suppliers in FY19.
Bunnings launched a container packaging app to gain greater visibility of non-recyclable pallets in the supply chain. The app is now being used by Bunnings Distribution Centres across Australia, allowing the business to proactively work and engage with overseas suppliers and agents to seek alternative, recyclable pallets to reduce pallet waste.
Kmart and Target worked closely to undertake a detailed investigation of their waste and recycling systems, processes and infrastructure. This included detailed waste and infrastructure audits of 50 stores and Distribution Centres. The findings of this investigation will be used to support key recommendations and actions in future waste diversion programs. Ahead of these changes, a review of existing waste and recycling contractors was completed with a number of changes made to service provider contracts to ensure they support increased diversion of waste going to landfill.