Australian supermarket chain Coles has introduced a new recyclable paper packaging solution for its mandarin oranges, replacing the traditionally used plastic net bags. 

The transition to this new packaging is set to prevent the usage of 11,700kg of plastic annually.  

The paper bags are designed to be recycled kerbside domestically.  

The supermarket chain anticipates selling more than one million of these paper bags from April to October 2024. 

Coles fresh produce general manager Charlotte Gilbert said: “We know how much our customers love mandarins at this time of year, so we’re pleased to be able to offer them in a new paper bag that can be put in your recycling bin once you’ve had a chance to enjoy them. 

“Customers can still purchase their favourite mandarin loose, including the delicious Imperial and Afourer varieties, with more than 16 million tonnes of the citrus fruit expected to be sold across Coles stores this season.” 

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The new 800g paper bags are available across all states and territories in the country, except Western Australia, with prices starting from A$5.50 ($3.61). 

In response to the launch, Australia-based environmental organisation Planet Ark’s CEO Rebecca Gilling said: “It’s very positive to see Coles designing packaging to avoid plastic waste and provide Aussies with a recyclable alternative to a plastic net bag.  

“While we support buying loose and reusing bags where possible, we commend Coles for its work to close the recycling loop and provide customers with products that can be easily recycled.”  

In September last year, Coles started offering a free certified compostable bags option in the fruit and vegetable section across all its stores in South Australia.