Aldi Announces Initiative to Remove Over Two Billion Pieces of Plastic
UNITED KINGDOM - Everyone has a different way of implementing more sustainable practices. Aldi recently announced another ambitious plan to become more sustainable, committing to reduce the volume of plastic packaging used by 50 percent by 2025. The new commitment will see the retailer remove 74,000 tons of plastic packaging during the next five years, the equivalent to 2.2 billion single items of plastic.
“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,” Giles Hurley, Chief Executive Officer of Aldi U.K. and Ireland, said. “We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.”
To achieve this target, Aldi will work to remove and reduce unnecessary packaging and switch to alternative materials. Where plastic is required, it will be recyclable and made of recycled material. According to a press release, the new target is part of Aldi’s overall strategy to ensure that all own-label products are recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2022, and branded products sold at Aldi by 2025.
Since introducing its plastic-reduction strategy in March 2018, Aldi has removed more than 6,000 tons of plastic and replaced over 3,200 tons of non-recyclable material with recyclable alternatives.
“We can only achieve our long-term plastic reduction targets with support from suppliers,” continued Hurley. “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.”
Aldi has been working closely with its suppliers in recent months to develop innovative ways to reduce avoidable plastics. These include replacing plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with a paper alternative and removing over lids from cream and yogurts, among other solutions.
On the impact grocers can make for sustainability, Nina Schrank of Greenpeace, said, "Eight months ago Greenpeace ranked U.K. supermarkets on their plastic policies and Aldi was one of those lagging behind, so this new commitment for Aldi to cut plastic by 50% by 2025 is a brilliant step forward. As one of the 10 biggest supermarkets in the U.K., this ambitious target from Aldi could eliminate 74,000 tonnes of plastic—or 2.2 billion pieces—over the next five years and we stand ready to help them achieve this goal.”
She added that Sainsbury's previously made the same commitment to halve plastics by 2025, so the team is now looking to the other top supermarkets to rise to the challenge.
“Last year supermarket plastic rose to 900,000 tonnes per year, much of it impossible or difficult to recycle. 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," Schrank concluded.
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