Coles customers have been outraged by a brand new price rise on a number of everyday products sold at the supermarket giant.
Shoppers in Victoria have spotted a sign saying prices on a number of products will rise due to the state government’s new container deposit system.
The program mirrors other states’ return and earn programs that give customers a small refund for recycling certain products at a “return point.”
Victorians can receive 10 cents for every item they recycle, with products such as bottles, cans and cardboard accepted.
The increase is due to the state’s new container deposit system, which increased the cost of creating products but refunds customers 10 cents for each eligible item recycled (pictured).
“This has resulted in price increases on a number of bottled, canned and cartoned products that we stock,” says the Coles brand.
“CDS Vic is rewarding Victorians with a 10 cent refund for every eligible bottle, can and carton they return to a refund location,” the sign continues.
Customers were furious, arguing that prices had increased to match the same amount of money they would have made if they recycled the packaging at the refund point.
An image of the sign informing customers of the price increase was posted by a disgruntled shopper on Reddit with the caption: “Not happy January.”
The message sparked an angry response from hundreds of Australians frustrated by yet another price rise amid rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.
“Government returns 10c, stores raise prices over 10c.” They will literally monetize EVERY scenario available,” one user wrote.
“This negates the benefit to the customer unless they jump through additional hoops to recoup the cost.”
“I beg your pardon, this eliminates the reason for doing this,” wrote a second.
Social media users in other states said a similar price increase occurred when their programs were introduced.
“I get it but this is such a stupid ploy, I already pay the council to take my recycling and now I pay extra for each recyclable,” one user from NSW wrote.
“They did this when they also introduced the project to QLD. Get 10 cents back, price went up 15 cents,” one Queenslander commented.
Victorian customers of supermarket giant Coles have been left furious after another price hike on items regularly found in the Australians’ weekly shop (stock image)
The program was introduced on November 1, making Victoria the latest state to roll out a return-and-earn program.
South Australia was the first to introduce the program in 1977, followed by New South Wales in 2017, Queensland in 2018 and Western Australia in 2020, with Tasmania due to join the club in 2024.
VicReturn estimated in July that the project would increase the cost of creating aluminum cans by 11.05 cents each, 11.40 cents for glass and 11.50 cents for the liquid packaging cartons used in the containers of milk.
Around two million containers were delivered within 24 hours on November 6, leading to many drop-off points being filled to the brim and closed with tape.
A Coles spokesperson said the price rise helped cover the 10p container deposit included in the scheme.
“Through this recycling initiative, customers may notice a slight increase in the number of beverages eligible for the container deposit program,” the spokesperson said.
“This additional cost covers the 10 cent deposit that customers can get back and helps with the operation and administration of the program.”
The spokesperson added that 47 reverse vending machines are being set up in stores across the state to allow customers to get a refund on eligible items.