Aldi UK has announced plans to ensure that all packaging on its private-label products will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.
In this with this goal, the discount retailer is also eliminating £0.05 plastic carrier bags from its stores, offering customers more sustainable bags for life, as well as reusable bags made from back-of-store plastic waste, which will cost £0.09.
Aldi says it will report on the progress of its packaging initiatives on an annual basis, and has set up a task force of experts to help drive innovation in this area.
“Our customers trust us not only to offer them high-quality products at unbeatable prices, but to help them lead healthier, better lives," said Matthew Barnes, CEO of Aldi UK and Ireland.
“That includes reducing waste, particularly around unnecessary packaging and plastics that damage the environment we live in."
In addition to changes at its stores, Aldi has pledged its support for a new cross-sector initiative from waste organisation WRAP, which aims to transform the UK plastics system and tackle plastic pollution.
The retailer has also pledged support in principle for a national deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, joining other UK grocers such as Iceland and the Co-op.
“We welcome Aldi taking positive action to reduce plastic waste," said Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP.
“Through WRAP’s new ambitious, cross-sector initiative, which will be unveiled soon, we will work together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, particularly in reducing food waste, but prevent it from polluting the environment."
The topic of plastic packaging has been front and centre in the UK recently, following the announcement of the government’s 25-year plan for reducing waste and tackling climate change.
In a speech made at the start of the year, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to eliminate all “avoidable” plastic waste by 2042, and proposed extending the levy on plastic bags and introducing plastic-free aisles in supermarkets.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.