UNWRAPPED: THE TRUTH ABOUT SUPERMARKET PLASTIC

Supermarkets in Australia are a $130.2 billion industry, responsible for the majority of household plastic packaging.

For far too long, Australian supermarkets have escaped scrutiny for their massive plastic waste. They've been flooding the market with hard-to-recycle packaging, prioritising convenience over environmental health. Without strict laws to limit plastic production, these supermarkets continue to sidestep public accountability, leaving our planet to bear the burden.

We Need Your Help Taking Our Investigation to the Next Level in 2024!

How frustrating is it when you grab your fruit and veg and it’s covered in plastic? Then to add insult to injury, loose produce is more expensive than packaged produce.

We are sick of it and we bet you are too! Here's how you can help us combat this pointless plastic packaging:

When you're doing your next grocery shop, complete the two surveys below. They take just five minutes, you can complete them multiple times and each completed survey goes into the draw to win a $100 Seed and Sprout gift voucher. 

What Did Our Report First Comprehensive Report in 2023 Find? 

Ever wondered how your supermarket ranks? You can take a peek at our first-ever independent audit of supermarket plastic use in Australia.

Aldi leads the way in the Australian supermarket sector, achieving the highest score in 2023, with Coles, Woolworths, and Metcash (IGA, Foodland, and others) following.

 

KEY FINDINGS

  • Most supermarkets are not transparent about their plastic footprint.

  • Reuse and refill systems need to be scaled up urgently, to provide consumers with cost comparative options without unnecessary plastic packaging

  • Leading supermarkets are not prioritising removal of plastic, over-relying on false solutions such as 'lightweighting' - making packaging lighter to claim plastic reductions.

  • Loose fresh produce is frequently more expensive than plastic-packed produce, pushing consumers towards unnecessary plastic packaging, and penalises those who try to reduce their plastic consumption in a cost-of-living crisis.

  • Supplier packaging guidelines are rarely enforced, allowing suppliers to use whatever packaging option is cheapest or easiest to print marketing material onto.

  • Recycling and recycled content was the worst-performing area of all assessed categories. In spite of the message coming from Australian supermarkets, little real progress has been made on increasing the recycled content in plastic packaging, diminishing recycling efforts and the vision of creating a circular economy for plastics in Australia.

Australians have been doing our part- recycling and picking up trash. But unless we stop plastic at the source, it is just a band-aid solution and our incredible marine life will continue to suffer the consequences.

For more information on our report view our audit framework and volunteer surveys.

 

You Can Help Keep Supermarkets Accountable

For the first time, Australia’s federal, state, and territory governments have come together to develop new laws on plastic packaging, thanks to pressure from Boomerang Alliance supporters like you.

Will you sign the petition supporting laws to cut plastic by 20% by 2030?

 

 

 

Our Wins So Far 


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