Supermarket Progress Report

March 2024

Update: Supermarket Progress Report

Last year in the first independent audit of plastic on Australia's supermarket shelves, The Australian Marine Conservation Society and Boomerang Alliance uncovered a worrying lack of progress in reducing plastic packaging. 

As we work towards the second report, we wanted to show you what progress the supermarkets have made since the release of our report.

As a Boomerang Alliance supporter, I wanted to make sure you were kept up to date on how the supermarkets are tracking. 

It's been five months since we released Australia's first independent report on supermarkets. Yet every time I walk into a supermarket, I'm astounded by the amount of unnecessary plastic surrounding me. 

It's on every shelf, in every aisle. It's at the checkout, it's on our fresh fruit and vegetables and less than 20% ever gets recovered. Mostly it ends up in landfills or littered in the environment and our oceans. By reducing the amount of plastic on supermarket shelves, we know we can drive down the estimated 145,000 tonnes of plastic pollution that flows into Australia's oceans every year 1.

Last year, we conducted Australia's first independent audit of the big 4 supermarkets, so that shoppers like you can clearly see what each of the supermarkets are doing to deal with their plastic addiction. 

We've followed up on our Top 5 Recommendations to see how the supermarkets are tracking. While some supermarkets have made progress, others are trailing behind. 

1 O’Farrell, K., Harney, F., & Chakma, P. (2021). Australian Plastics Flows and Fates Study 2019-20 - NationalReport. Prepared for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.


 What we're welcoming: 

  • Woolworths have phased out integrated single-use plastic straws and cutlery in their own-brand products and have a requirement that all products stocked on their shelves do the same by the end of 2024. 
  • Coles have expanded a trial in SA allowing customers to BYO containers for some deli items. 

We're disappointed to see: 

  • No supermarket has committed to ensure loose fresh produce is the same price or cheaper than pre-packaged fresh produce. 
  • No supermarket has committed to reducing the volume of single-serve or small portion items.


The big 4 supermarkets in Australia are all claiming they're leading the way in plastic reductions, but we're not seeing the results. In 2023, packaging and soft plastics combined made up 69.7% of all plastics collected in cleans up around Australia 2. 

Right now, we're conducting our 2024 audit. We're committed to bringing accountability to supermarkets in Australia and will release the second report later this year. 

This work doesn't happen without your support. The supermarkets have now taken notice. We need to keep the pressure on them to get the actions needed.


Jeff Angel
Boomerang Alliance

Australia generates more single-use plastic waste per person than any other country except Singapore - Minderoo Foundation, Plastic Wastemaker Index.

With your help, we have a very rare opportunity to turn the tide on plastic waste and pollution. Australia's environment ministers have recently agreed to an ambitious packaging reform, with federal Minister Tanya Plibersek calling for a "Plastic-Pollution-Free Pacific in our lifetimes" – committing to world-leading regulation in 2024. This is our chance, but it won’t happen without cutting the amount of plastic we use in the first place.



We would not have been able to do all this work without you and your support by making a donation, signing a petition, sharing our social media posts and sending us words of encouragement. We still have much work to do this year and we hope you will continue to help us.

Please donate so we can continue our fight against plastic pollution.