Coles defends Little Shop miniature plastic giveaway

By @chelean on
Coles Little Shop collectables of miniaturised versions of popular products
Coles Little Shop collectables of miniaturised versions of popular products Coles

Australian supermarket Coles has defended its collectable miniature products giveaway from criticisms that it was giving contradictory stance on plastic waste. Its “Coles Little Shop” giveaway is made of tiny replicas of grocery popular grocery products mostly made of plastic.

The Little Shop is made of 30 mini collectables of different brands and products, like Tim Tam, Vicks VapoRub, Colgate, Nutella, Vegemite, Milo, Liptop and Nescafe. It comes in a plastic-lined case where the products can be stored. Customers will get one collectable when they spend $30 in one transaction from July 18 to Aug. 28.

“We know our customers love collectables, so we have worked with our suppliers to launch a fun new collectable campaign in our supermarkets across Australia,” COO Greg Davis said.

While some consumers found the giveaways adorable, there are those who found them not only ridiculous, but inconsistent with the company’s recent plastic bag ban as well.

“This just shows that Coles is not serious about reducing plastic waste,” a customer wrote on Coles’ Facebook page. Another added, “They get rid of single use plastic bags then make up for it by producing these useless wastes of plastic — aimed at kids! We’ll find these choking turtles and dolphins in no time. Sham on the companies too who saw this a s a cheap, wasteful marketing ploy.”

Other customers are also concerned that the small sizes of the collectables are potential choke hazards for little children.

Coles has then been forced to defend itself, saying the collectables have been independently tested for compliance with Australian Standards and that customers have a choice whether to collect or not.

“We know many of our customers love collectables and we have designed them together with our suppliers to be miniature replicas of some of the most popular products on our supermarket shelves. The idea behind Little Shop is that customers can keep and collect them rather than throw them out,” it replied to one of the comments.

“Additional, all of our mini collectables have been independently tested for compliance with Australian Standards. This testing is specifically aimed at reducing risks and demonstrating the quality and safety of materials and products.”

Major supermarkets in Australia, including Coles, have banned single-use plastic bags from July 1 nationwide. In response to the complaints from customers who were not used to bringing their own bag, Coles has announced that shoppers who brought their own bags would earn 30 flybuys points. The offer will end on July 31.

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