In a shocking exercise of corporate irresponsibility, BIG W has continued to sell banned single-use plastics in Queensland. They have greenwashed previous one-off items as "reusable", when the clear intent of the law is to remove them from supermarket shelves - to be replaced with genuinely reusable items.
The retailer has simply stuck a new label on these products, for example, throw-away picnic plates, to re brand as dishwasher-safe, in an effort to avoid the law. These products will be seen by most consumers as disposable items and end up as litter or waste in bins and landfills after a single use. This is precisely the outcome the Queensland law seeks to avoid.
At a time when the State Government is requiring all retailers, suppliers, food outlets and community organisations to stop providing these plastic items – and our research shows many are doing just that - BIG W is continuing to damage the environment from plastic pollution.
We call on BIG W to immediately withdraw these items from sale and donate any profits to community groups involved in litter clean ups.
The BIG W range of outdoor picnicware includes plastic knives, forks and spoons, bowls and plates are all banned in Queensland unless they are certified compostable or are genuinely reusable. If they are allowed to get away with their behaviour, this will encourage other retailers to do the same.
Governments and responsible retailers need to call this out and adopt very clear rules about what is genuinely reusable, to close out any capacity to continue this greenwashing.
Picture below was taken on 22 September 2021 at Big W in Brisbane.
Boomerang Alliance has sent examples of this packaging to the Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments seeking further action to stop this greenwashing.