‘We are stepping up our efforts to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used across our business because it is the right thing to do for a sustainable future’
On July 9, UK’s fifth-largest supermarket, Aldi pledged to remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from its stores by 2025. The amount roughly equates to 2.2 billion single plastic items.
In order to meet its new targets, which is part of the supermarket chain’s 2018 plastic reduction strategy, Aldi will not only ensure that all of its own-brand packagings are recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2022 but will also work with its suppliers to reduce unnecessary packaging and replacing plastic with alternative materials.
“We are stepping up our efforts to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used across our business because it is the right thing to do for a sustainable future,” explained Giles Hurley, Chief Executive Officer at Aldi UK and Ireland.
“We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.”
So far, the retailer giant has already removed over 6,000 tonnes of plastic and swapped more than 3,200 tonnes of non recyclable material with recyclable alternatives.
The chain is also looking to launch educational and awareness community programs to educate customers about the need for waste reduction.
Working with suppliers in developing innovative methods to reduce plastic consumption has led to the removal of lids from cream and yogurts, replacement of plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with paper alternatives and cardboard alternatives for plastic packaging on steak lines.
“We can only achieve our long-term plastic reduction targets with support from suppliers. The response we have received so far has been extremely positive and we look forward to working with them to develop further innovative packaging solutions,” Hurley said.
‘Brilliant step forward’
In 2019, Greenpeace UK published a league table, ranking supermarkets for their plastic footprint and Aldi came at the bottom with 38% while Waitrose was on top with a 52% score.
The ranking was decided from scores across five categories including promises made on reduction and reuse, future plans on reduction and reuse, recyclability and recycled content, influencing suppliers and transparency.
Appreciating Aldi’s new target, Greenpeace campaigner Nina Schrank said: “Eight months ago, Greenpeace ranked UK supermarkets on their plastic policies and Aldi was one of those lagging behind, so this new commitment is a brilliant step forward”.
“Last year supermarket plastic rose to 900,000 tonnes per year, much of it impossible or difficult to recycle,” Schrank added.
“All supermarkets should listen to their customers who want less plastic, and remove single-use plastic packaging wherever possible, and develop in-store and home delivery options with refillable containers.”
Aldi U.S. has similar plastic-reduction goals. It has committed to make 100% of its private label packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, as well as cutting packing materials for those products by 15% over the same period.
Share this news to support Aldi’s new plastic reduction strategy targets.
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