Aldi has committed to removing 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from its stores by 2025. This equates to roughly 2.2 billion plastic items.
The new commitment is part of the supermarket chain’s plastic reduction strategy, initially published in 2018. The strategy includes a ten-part pledge to reduce its plastic use.
As part of the plan, Aldi has committed to ensuring that all of its own-brand packagings are recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2022. By 2025, Aldi plans to have 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging across all branded products. Also by 2025, Aldi aims to make 50 percent of its packaging from recycled material.
The chain also committed to educating customers about the need for waste reduction through its community programs.
‘It Is The Right Thing to Do for a Sustainable Future’
According to Greenpeace, UK supermarkets produce around 900,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year. In 2018 and 2019, the nonprofit environmental organization put together a league table, ranking supermarkets for their plastic footprint. Last year, Aldi came bottom of the table, Waitrose was top.
Anthony Lewis, Digital Campaigner for Greenpeace, wrote at the time: “there are no real winners or losers in our league table – across the board, we are seeing far too much single-use plastic hitting the shelves. This is plastic that customers have overwhelmingly said ‘no thanks’ to.”
He added: “the bottom performers are yet to embrace refillable and reusable packing at scale and grew their overall plastic footprint from the year before.”
Greenpeace reported that Waitrose and Tesco managed to decrease their plastic footprint from 2018 to 2019. Despite coming bottom the year before, Sainsbury’s also managed to climb to third place and decrease its plastic footprint.
According to Giles Hurley, Aldi UK and Ireland’s CEO, the supermarket chain is now “stepping up” its efforts. “It is the right thing to do for a sustainable future,” he said in a statement.
Aldi has removed more than 6,000 tonnes of plastic so far. It’s replaced more than 3,200 tonnes of unrecyclable plastics with recyclable materials.
Hurley added: “We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.”