Looking to the future and how it wants to support it, Aldi is ready to help lead the charge on retailers making sustainable moves. The grocer has announced a pledge to reduce the volume of plastic packaging used across the pond by half in the next five years, effectively removing 74,000 tons of plastic packaging. This equates 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.”
Approaching the issue pragmatically, Aldi said it will work to remove and reduce unnecessary packaging and switch to alternative materials, making sure plastic that can’t be avoided will be recyclable and made of recycled material. And it is looking to those on the supply-side to back this up.
“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.”
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, according to a press release—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.
Nina Schrank of Greenpeace reached out to applaud the move and the standard it sets for other big banners to follow.
"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 percent 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,” Schrank said, explaining that Sainsbury's previously made the same commitment to halve plastics by 2025. “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.”
As our industry looks to up its impact while lessening its footprint, Deli Market News will bring you the latest in all moves affecting all sides of the business.