Supermarket Plastic

Single use plastics are filling up our oceans. Yet too often we get no say over the plastic packaging on our groceries. Together, we’re going to tackle Supermarket plastics.


The Supermarket Plastics Campaign

Responding to a tidal wave of demand from ocean lovers to tackle supermarket plastics, the Australian Marine Conservation Society is partnering with the Boomerang Alliance to deliver a new nationwide campaign. In 2023, we will deliver Australia’s first independent annual audit of plastics use across the supermarket sector – giving you the facts on which supermarkets are doing the most to fight plastic.

Our new supermarket plastics team will work directly with Australia’s largest supermarkets to investigate the success of plastic reduction efforts, and support their sustainability teams to cut plastic packaging and switch to earth safe alternatives. With your help, we can drive a significant reduction of plastic packaging in one of the largest retail sectors, directly reducing Australia’s plastic footprint.

Our plan to reduce supermarket plastics

We will create an independent annual audit that ranks Australian supermarkets on their plastic packaging practices.

A public scorecard will allow consumers to see which supermarkets are doing the most to fight plastic, allowing them to make educated choices about where they shop.

The audit report will provide greater transparency around the goals and commitments made by supermarkets to reduce plastic, and whether they have reduced plastic packaging in real terms. It will also act as a guide to help supporters take action to reduce their own plastic footprint and encourage supermarkets to adopt best practice across the sector.

Supermarkets have huge potential to reduce household plastics, and they don’t have to do it alone. Our dedicated plastics experts will help supermarkets to implement changes that work.

Following the publication of the independent audit report, supermarkets will be provided with bespoke recommendations outlining actions they should take to improve their rankings.

In addition, our team will work with supermarket sustainability teams, supporting them to implement best practice plastic reduction initiatives as seen across the sector both at a local and international level.

AMCS and Boomerang will work with supermarkets to accelerate implementation of legislative and policy changes designed to reduce the use of plastics.

We will assist these powerful market operators to change supplier behavior and advocate for consistent plastic reduction standards across the globe.

The data gathered through the independent audit will also be used to advocate for evidence based policy solutions that address the big barriers stopping supermarkets from reducing plastic.

Plastic packaging is a major contributor to ocean plastic pollution.

Soft plastics represent over 40% of all plastic packaging found in Australian litter cleanups, and food packaging, non-food packaging, beverage containers and beverage rubbish making up the majority of remaining plastic collected.(1)

In Australia, the supermarket sector represents a $130 Billion dollar industry (2) with colossal buying power. While many supermarkets have adopted Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets, including a goal to recycle or compost 70% of plastic packaging by 2025, only 18% of plastic packaging is currently being composted or recycled in Australia.(3)

From manufacturing and distribution through to sale, supermarkets have enormous power to influence the plastics used in our everyday groceries and household goods. We need our supermarkets to  urgently reduce plastic packaging, eliminate unrecyclable plastics and provide refillable alternatives, so that we can have a real shot at stemming the flow of plastic into our oceans.

We will need your help!

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  1. Clean Up Australia. (2020). Rubbish Report 2020