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Coles grants to aid bushfire recovery, sustainability initiatives

Supermarket giant Coles has announced that it is giving grants to 12 small and medium-sized enterprises as part of its plans to improve sustainability, help bushfire recovery and generate more foods and beverages.

The Coles Nurture Fund will provide almost $3 million to support the successful projects.

Recycling manufacturer Plastic Forests at Albury, NSW is one of the companies who will receive a A$300,000 grant to recycle soft plastics and turn them into fence posts. It will also give grants to two farming families in NSW – the McKay family and the Clarke family – so they can rebuild fencing which through Plastic Forests. 

“The Coles Nurture Fund was set up to support new, innovative practices, processes and technologies and we’ve been delighted with the calibre of the applications this year. At a time when food and grocery manufacturing across Australia is so important due to the flow-on effect of COVID-19, it’s terrific to see the innovative, forward thinking of small to medium sized businesses,” Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said.

Plastic Forests’ A$300,000 grant will allow it to buy equipment to improve its machinery to produce innovative steel-reinforced plastic posts for farms. 

“The support from the Coles Nurture Fund allows us to assist farmers to rebuild following the devastating bushfires and will incorporate difficult to recycle post-consumer soft plastics collected from Coles supermarkets by REDcycle,” Plastic Forests managing director David Hodge said.

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation CEO Brooke Donnelly said she is delighted the Coles Nurture Fund is helping to fund important sustainability initiatives such as a new manufacturing solution for plastic packaging, which “will support a circular economy and align with our national packaging targets to recycle packaging”.

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