Ooshies have been an obsession for little kids – and their parents – since they were first launched by supermarket giant Woolworths.The little plastic figurines have become collectibles, with rare, hard-to-find or discontinued version selling for ridiculous prices on eBay.Those prices may soon go up if Woolworths decides to phase Ooshies out as part of an ambitious plan to significantly reduce its plastic waste.Woolworths has pledged to halve its use of virgin plastic packaging by weight (against its 2018 baseline) by 2024.And while there are many fans of the Ooshies range, there are plenty of other sustainability-minded people who think about the amount of plastic needed to produce those cute little figures.An example of the popular Ooshies range. Credit: Woolworths Disney+ Universe Ooshies & Lion King Ooshies Australia/Facebook During its annual general meeting, shareholders asked chairman Gordan Cairns if Ooshies would be phased out as part of their plastic waste reduction initiative, Perth Now reports.“I don’t have a comment on commitment on promotional items like that … that is entirely in the remit of management,” Mr Cairns said.When contacted by 7NEWS.com.au, a Woolworths spokesperson would not confirm or deny the future of its Ooshies range.The spokesperson said the plastic collectibles were “designed to be durable so collectors can enjoy them for a long time.”“We’ve also established a partnership with TerraCycle to turn any leftover or unwanted Ooshies into plastic pellets which will be used to make outdoor products such as garden beds, decks, fences and benches,” the spokesperson said.Woolworths released four rare ‘glitter’ Ooshies which were in high demand. Credit: Supplied“Separately, we’re working hard to reduce the amount of plastic in our own brand packaging.“We’ve committed to making 100 per cent of our own brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2023, which we know will have a positive impact on household waste across the country.“We’ve already removed more than 1,320 tonnes of plastic from our packaging as we continue to roll out more sustainable solutions.”Apart from the plastic waste reduction commitment, Woolworths says it plans to run on renewable energy by the middle of the decade.A Baby Yoda Ooshie was selling on eBay for just under $100,000 in September. Credit: eBayA supermarket war broke out between Woolworths and Coles when each introduced a collectible range.Coles was first with Stickeez, small plastic toys in the shape of fruit and vegetables.Then Woolworths fired back with Ooshies.Ranges were snapped up and sold in record time, becoming massive cash cows for the rival supermarket chains.Parents and children around Australia must now anxiously await a formal decision by Woolworths on the future of its beloved Ooshies.
Hang on to your Ooshies – they could soon be worth a whole lot more.