The NSW Greens have slammed Coles’ Stikeez promotion as a total failure of corporate social responsibility and called on the retail sector to get on board with the community movement to curb plastic pollution.
Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson Justin Field said, “Giving away useless plastic items that will inevitably end up clogging landfill or polluting waterways and the ocean is a total failure of corporate social responsibility.
“Coles may have considered their 'Little Shop' promotion a business success but any financial benefit for Coles comes at the social and environment cost of a legacy of plastic waste.
“These plastic items will find their way into creeks and the ocean injuring marine life, or will sit for thousands of years in landfill after they are inevitably thrown out.
“It’s time the retail sector stopped promotions involving useless plastic waste.
The Greens have also questioned the claim that the promotion will encourage healthy eating for children.
“If Coles wanted to encourage healthy eating they’d be better off giving away fruit and vegetables rather than plastic rubbish.
“Shoppers could spend $30 on unhealthy food and still be rewarded with the promotion. Dressing this up as a healthy eating program is cynical at best and dishonest at worst.
“Encouraging wasteful and useless plastic consumption is a terrible message for young people who will inherit this legacy of waste.
“If the retail sector won’t change its behaviour when it comes to plastic waste, regulation needs to put a stop to it.
“The Greens have put legislation to the NSW Parliament to phase out single-use plastics in NSW by 2023. I’ll be looking at how these sorts of promotions can be curbed to reduce plastic waste entering the environment,” Mr Field said.