Unwrapped: The truth about supermarket plastic

Supermarkets in Australia are a $130.2 billion industry, responsible for the majority of household plastic packaging. See how your supermarket ranks in the first ever independent audit of supermarket plastic use in Australia.

For too long, supermarkets in Australia have not been held accountable for the amount of plastic packaging they generate, pumping out difficult-to-recycle packaging at the expense of our environment. With no legislated mandate to curb plastic production, supermarkets have largely avoided public accountability relating to the amount of plastic on their shelves.

Supermarkets in Australia all claim to be leading the way in sustainability in Australia - but who is making the biggest difference? Find out how your supermarket ranked in our 2023 supermarket plastics audit, so you can vote with your feet.

View our audit framework and volunteer surveys.

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.



  • 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.

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?