Coles plastic craze goes peak cray cray

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th August 2018

SO what if Coles extended the free handout of its “better”, thicker plastic bags to better serve the rollout of even more plastic, albeit non-recyclable, in the form of its mini toy promotion.

Sure the decision on August 1 to extend the bags handout did come at the same time people were reaching peak cray cray over the Coles Mini Shop promotion.

But now, barring any further extensions, the bags handout will end on August 29, the day after the toy promotion ends.

It kind of looks like Coles did it that way on purpose if you look at a memo to staff obtained by Fairfax.

When people had to pay for the bags it caused delays through checkouts, negatively impacting sales ahead of the Wesfarmers demerger of Coles.

The memo says the bag extension helped stores get customers through checkouts faster, while they experienced busier than normal trading thanks to its Little Shop toy promotion.

But so what if they did? Who could blame Coles? The collectables promotion is awesome and has had plenty of people losing their minds.

Customers receive in a small plastic bag a plastic replica, some padded with more plastic or foam, of an everyday supermarket product for every $30 they spend.

Try, without the Judgement of Solomon, spending $25 and explaining to your two children why the officious checkout operator only gave you one lump of plastic, stuffed with foam and all wrapped in more plastic – not pretty. There are 30 to collect for god’s sake.

Such insane demand has prompted a secondary resale market for the toys online, while people organise swap meets via social media.

The state library of Victoria, no less, will within days host a swap meet of the toys, like so many others that have caused frenzied scenes of chaos for shopping centre security guards trying to control foot traffic.

Myth and legend meanwhile spreads far and wide. Stories of “super rare”, “unicorn” minis abound.

Trading sites such as Gumtree and eBay is where fact divorces reason and a plastic miniatures of say White King bleach (sans any bleach) have price tags anywhere from $1 to $1000.

It’s been a madness on many fronts – a good old craze.

But like all others, sadly, it will end leaving just sweet memories, and the little toys which are not made from recyclable materials.

Though fear not worried waste warriors.

A Coles spokesman said: “While the mini collectables and accessories are not made from recyclable materials, our customers are enjoying keeping them for the future which means they aren’t heading to landfill.”