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Our Oceans are Choking in Plastic

Our oceans are choking in plastic. By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our seas.1

And yesterday Coles made things a lot worse. Instead of doing their bit to stop plastic pollution, they’ve announced that they’ll be using plastic bags in their stores indefinitely.2

The story about Coles’ backflip on plastic is making its way round people’s Facebook feeds, and it’s making headlines.

They’ll be watching closely to see how we react. If they don’t see a big backlash, it gives them cover to make even worse decisions on plastic. And could encourage their competitors to do the same.

We can’t let this happen. So it’s up to us to deliver a huge public blow to their plans.

We have a choice about where we shop – so reputation is everything for big supermarket chains.
If tens of thousands of us demand Coles reverse their decision, we could nip this in the bud before it’s too late.

Will you sign the petition to Coles now demanding they reverse their decision and take plastic pollution seriously?

Plastic pollution has got so bad experts are calling it a “planetary crisis”.3 Experts estimate that 50 million plastic bags end up in Australia’s waterways and oceans every year. And the impact on wildlife is devastating.4

We’ve been seeing huge momentum in recent years in banning single-use plastic. Not only are more stores banning plastic bags, state governments are moving forward on legislation5, major chains are getting rid of plastic straws6 and one Australian town even banned single-use plastic water bottles.7

Now with this one decision, Coles could set this progress back. Unless we can keep the momentum going to free our oceans from killer plastic. Will you sign the petition now?

Small changes make a big difference when it comes to plastic pollution. Since the 5p charge was introduced in places like the UK, use of throwaway plastic bags has plummeted.8 And lots of us don’t think twice about taking a reusable bag for our weekly shop now. It goes to show what a difference a small step can make to fixing a huge problem.

But none of this would have happened without public pressure forcing supermarkets to take this seriously. Supermarkets like Coles are focused on their profits. They won’t make big changes like this unless they’re forced to by the weight of public pressure.

Imagine the CEO of Coles coming in to his office tomorrow morning to a petition with tens of thousands of signatures, the story splashed all over the papers, and his colleagues talking about it in the lift. He’ll know that this is not a fight he can win. And it will push him to reverse this harmful plastics backflip.

But it can’t work without you. Will you sign the petition today to make sure Coles is doing what it should to help tackle plastic pollution?

Thanks for standing up for our planet, 

Neneh, for the GetUp team 

[1] “How plastic is damaging planet Earth”,The Independent 28 September 2017
[2] “Coles caves and will give away free plastic bags indefinitely”, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 August 2018
[3] “Ocean plastic a ‘planetary crisis'” – UN, BBC News, 5 December 2017
[4] “Coles caves and will give away free plastic bags indefinitely”, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 August 2018
[5] Queensland Government: “Plastic Bag Ban”
[6] “McDonald’s plastic straws to be phased out across Australia by 2020”,ABC News 24 July 2018
[7] “Australian town bans bottled water”, The Guardian, 9 July 2009
[8] “England’s plastic bag usage drops 85% since 5p charge introduced”, The Guardian, 30 July 2016

GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you’d like to contribute to help fund GetUp’s work, please donate now!
Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders – past, present and future – and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.

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