13 July 2020 by Robyn White

Aldi announces plastic reduction measures

Supermarket chain Aldi has announced a five-year plan to remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging used across its business.

The commitment aims to reduce the volume of plastic packaging used by 50% by 2025, which the supermarket says it equivalent to 2.2bn single items of plastic.

Aldi is aiming to replace plastic packaging with alternative materials (picture: a reusable bag for loose fruit and veg)

In order to achieve the target, Aldi said it will work to remove and reduce unnecessary packaging and switch to alternative materials.

It added that where plastic is required, it will be recyclable and made of recycled material “wherever possible”.

Aldi added that it has been working with suppliers in recent months to develop “innovative” ways to reduce plastic. So far these have included replacing plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with paper alternatives, removing cover lids for cream and yogurts, and replacing plastic packaging on steak lines with cardboard.

The target is part of Aldi’s plastic-reduction strategy, which was initially introduced in March 2018. The strategy also included targets to ensure that own-label products are recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022 and branded products sold at the supermarket by 2025.

Since introducing the strategy, Aldi reported that it has removed 6,000 tonnes of plastic and replace over 3,200 tonnes of unrecyclable material with recyclable alternatives.

‘Stepping up efforts’

Giles Hurley, chief executive officer of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “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. We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.

“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.”

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