Supermarket chain Woolworths’ 2023 sustainability report has revealed that it has removed 800 tonnes (t) of plastic from its own-brand packaging throughout the year.

The retailer released the report as it reached the midpoint of its 2025 Sustainability Plan.

In the sustainability review, Woolworths said that it used 1,200t of recycled plastic in its own-brand packaging.

The retailer posted a 26% reduction equivalent of baseline year virgin plastic packaging and 14,000t in virgin plastic reduction against the baseline.

Throughout the year, Woolworths has undertaken various initiatives to reduce virgin plastic usage including the introduction of 80% recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic in Woolworths’ bakery trays and clamshells, which led to a reduction of 1,222t of virgin plastic.

The retailer also eliminated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film from its fresh-cut fruit and vegetables and increased the content of recycled high-density polyethylene terephthalate in 3l of its milk bottles by 30%.

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In addition, the company removed 69t of PVC bags in the BIG W cotton bedding range and piloted kerbside-recyclable paper-based sealable bags for the Macro Wholefoods Market nuts range.

The sustainability review also revealed that the average recycled content in its own-brand primary and secondary packaging increased to 49%.

Woolworths claims 3.4 million tonnes of material waste are produced every year in Australia, of which only 13% is recycled while 84% ends up in landfill.

The retailer said that it is working to increase access to recyclability and recycled content to address the impact of packaging in both Australia and New Zealand.

As part of its overarching 2025 Sustainability Plan, Woolworths aims to reduce usage of virgin plastic packaging by 50% and achieve 60% recycled content across its brand.

It also aims to make 100% of its own-brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or compostable by that period.

In April this year, Woolworths commenced a withdrawal of its reusable plastic shopping bags from various stores across Australia, located across the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.