Why Coles Click & Collect customers could soon be swapping bags for boxes

Coles’ drive to remove plastic shopping bags has gone one step further, with a new Swap-a-box scheme for Click & Collect customers.

Swap-a-box is on trial in 17 stores across Australia, including all stores in Tasmania, plus Woodend, Inglewood and Southland in Victoria. 

Shoppers who use a store’s Click & Collect option in the pilot areas can choose to have their groceries packed in reusable boxes rather than the traditional recyclable plastic bags, with the option available through the checkout at the same point as a bagged or bagless order. Shoppers can return the boxes to the store for cleaning before they’re reused on another shopper’s order. 

“Swap-a-box is designed to reduce the use of plastic bags and help Coles achieve its ‘Together to Zero’ waste ambitions,” a Coles spokesperson told Canstar Blue. “The response from customers has been very positive as we aim to provide greater choices for their shopping experience.” 

The boxes are made from Unicor, an Australian invented and patented material designed to replace waxed cardboard and polystyrene. The boxes will cost $2 per order, but when returned, shoppers will receive a promo code for their next Swap-a-box order.

Coles and rival Woolworths have committed to ensuring all of their stores’ plastics are recyclable, reusable and compostable by 2025. Coles has launched initiatives to cut the use of plastic in its fruit and veg aisles, while Woolworths’ Western Australian stores phased out plastic bags in 2022 to comply with state laws.

Both supermarkets have previously trialled BYO deli containers and changed the collectibles they offer to ensure they’re more environmentally friendly.

Coles provided no further information on the length of the Swap-a-box trials or whether Swap-a-box would be rolled out to other states and territories.

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