Lidl GB has announced that it has removed over one billion pieces of plastic from stores across Great Britain as part of its strategy to eliminate plastic waste and support the continued reduction of plastic use across the globe.
The retailer has eliminated more than 24 million plastic trays and punnets from its fruit and vegetable assortment and up to 25 million plastic lids from dairy and yoghurt SKUs.
It has also removed nearly 19 million plastic tags from its fruit and vegetables lines, and 3.5 million pieces of plastic packaging on fresh flowers.
Lidl GB has also pledged to remove another 1.5 billion pieces of plastic by the end of 2021 and two billion pieces by the end of 2022.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl GB, stated, “It is fantastic that we have been able to reach this significant milestone which demonstrates our commitment to tackling excessive plastic waste and working collaboratively with all of our suppliers.
“We recognise, however, there is still more to do in this area which is why we are pushing to go further by removing even more pieces of plastic from our stores and packaging over the next two years and rolling out our leading ocean-bound plastic packaging across more and more categories in our stores.”
The retailer has prevented the equivalent of ten million water bottles from entering the world’s oceans since last year through its use of ocean-bound plastic packaging.
Following the success of the initiative, Lidl is expanding the use of ocean-bound plastic to prevent plastics collected from developing countries in South East Asia from entering the ocean.
The ocean-bound plastic, used in packaging for fresh fish and breaded poultry products, will also be introduced in berry packaging later this year.
Lidl has pledged to make 100% of its own-brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or refillable by 2025.
This year, the discounter achieved its target of ensuring that 50% of packaging is made from recycled materials, four years ahead of plan.
It has also reduced plastic use by 18.5% and is ‘on track’ to reach its original target of 20% by 2022.
Lidl has also met its target of eliminating problematic plastic packaging, including black plastic, PVC and EPS, from its own-label core food range and ensuring that 100% of pulp and fibre-based own-label packaging in its core food range are either responsibly sourced from FSC, PEFC, or equivalent, or made using recycled materials.