I try and do my bit for the environment and even embraced bringing my own bags to the supermarket (when I remember!). But I’m not exactly celebrating Coles’ decision to stop selling single-use plastic plates and cutlery in a move to cut down waste.

I’m totally supportive of reducing our landfill but I need a good alternative. Those ‘disposable’ plates, bowls, cups, forks, knives and spoons are an absolute saviour for kid’s parties, picnics and barbecues. When you’re running around after 20 toddlers, the last thing you want to do after a party is worry about washing up dishes.

What are we going to use instead now?


The supermarket giant has said that it will ban all single-use plastic cutlery and tableware from its shelves starting from July. They claim that this will remove 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic from landfill annually.

This move follows Aldi after the discount retailer stopped selling single-use plastic tableware products in 2020. We don’t think it’ll be long before Woolworths follows the trend (they have already ditched plastic straws).

Woolworths has previously indicated that they are developing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic.

A Move Towards Sustainable Australia

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans celebrated the move.

“Every company that takes action to reduce problematic or unnecessary plastics takes us one step closer towards a more sustainable Australia and is a win for our environment,” he said.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said that “the sustainability of our business is essential to our future success.”.

single use plastic tableware
You soon won’t see any more of these on the shelves

Many Shoppers Want This!

The supermarket has said that this move is also a response to customer needs, saying a survey showed that 65 per cent of Coles shoppers are worried about the impact of single-use tableware on the environment.

But Many Shoppers Don’t!

However, not all customers are pleased with the ban.

“A PR scam putting the onus on the customer to consume less plastic while using huge amounts themselves daily,” said one critic on Facebook.

“If they’re going to do that then they should let people bring containers for deli products rather than always using disposable plastic containers,” said another.

“PR stunt that’s all it is. Look at all the bakery crap they put out all in single-use plastic containers, pallets of products are delivered every day wrapped in plastic, and they are worried about sustainability?”

“I recycle all my plastics so banning these and anything else only disadvantages those doing the right thing. Rather than ban, give us the option of renewable, biodegradable or recyclable whilst phasing out the petrochemicals. Where the heck is the bamboo and hemp products? This is just another token move to win over the vocal minority!”

“Noooo!!!! Better get things now before there’s nothing!”

When Is It Happening?

The phase-out of the single-use plastic items will be completed by 1 July 2021, while South Australia will take the lead, with all single-use plastic tableware out of SA stores by 1 March 2021, in line with state laws.

We predict there’s going to be a sudden rush on plastic tableware so people can stock up before they’re all gone.

What are your thoughts on Coles’ decision to phase out single use plastic tableware? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Completely unnecessary, unless they plan on removing all plastic or single use things, not worth it.


  • A good step but they still over use plastic in so many of their products that is totally unnecessary


  • I’m not keen on ditching plastic plates.. the alternative is paper plates where you need to atleast double if not triple up or reusable plates that you have to wash which uses more water.. much of a muchness I think… All is bad for the environment.. But plastic disposable are convenient


  • I love this idea! Hopefully it will help everyone else start transitioning into using reusable options or creating a local party pack of cutlery/plates that families in the community can borrow.


  • I am all for the environment but now with paper plates I will need to use twice as many


  • It’s a step in the right direction but like everyone says, they need to reduce plastic in their fruit and veg packaging and countless other items too!


  • I like that they now offer ways to recycle your bags (you currently can’t order online without having the groceries bagged).


  • I would really love to see the produce area reduce the plastic content. Manufacturers have to reduce how much plastic they use to contain their product and just altering to cotton bags doesn’t help the landfill problem either.

    • Cotton is much easier to breakdown in waste than plastic ever will. The more plastic gone the better off we’ll all be but especially our sea life which is dwindling because of all the rubbish in our oceans.


  • I have to agree with some, what’s the point of banning some plastic products (dining table stuff) if they don’t reduce their own usage in their fruit and veg dept for example?


  • At least they are thinking about the environment.


  • I’m just happy with any business that is opting for better, more sustainable options. Is it easy or a simple process for big biz? No. But there are many trying to do better. So I’m happy with that. I cannot stand paper straws, so I’m looking for what alternatives will be provided. And I’ve noticed now that most of Coles plastic bags and wrap can be returned to their store for recycling. So I’m happy with that too. You can’t please everyone all of the time.


  • What are they going to replace them with and, don’t forget, they are going to miss out on a lot of sales so where are they going to add the prices to so they don’t suffer a loss?


  • Wonder if paper knives cut…


  • I don’t think this is bad thing, and paper plates are ok. A lot of places at the moment, are all about single use!


  • It’s interesting that we are reverting back to what our parents and grandparents did. What they did naturally we all have an opinion on one way or another. Sadly we have become used to what we consider to be convivences or even needs – how can we possibly ‘need’ a takeway latte when they didn’t even exist a few years ago?


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