The kids in our family would like people to tell Coles they are boycotting them until the 15c fee for plastic bags is re-introduced.
This is because at my house the kids are as angry with Coles as the adults are. They aren’t won over by the plastic advertisement miniatures Coles started giving away the same month they were meant to be reducing plastic use.
Our kids see that Coles is so afraid to lose customers who don’t care about the world, that they are willing to lose customers who do.
We adults know there are plenty more pressing concerns in the world than this – Why use energy boycotting a supermarket over something so small? We don’t take to the streets over greater crimes against humanity! We could be accused of inconsistency, taking the easy targets, pointless bickering at the fringes of the big challenges of our time.
I’ve thought this through, and I think it’s about small but symbolic action. Simple changes can stand as symbols of hope to energise us for the complexities needing our attention. That’s why I’m so discouraged and incensed by Coles’ action here – how can we hope to address the complex threats to our kids’ future if our corporate leaders don’t show the guts for the simple ones?
We want Coles to know that many thousands of dollars’ worth of annual grocery spending will be going elsewhere until their leadership stands up for our kids’ future and re-introduces the 15c fee for single use plastic bags.
We think it should go further – ban all single use packaging. But we will return to Coles – our nearest supermarket – when they at least resume starting to do the right thing by the planet.