How we’re tackling packaging and plastic waste

Plastic packaging plays an important role in protecting some products from damage, making sure they can be transported easily and helps reduce waste by preserving food for longer. However, we are aware of the negative impact that plastic has on the environment and know this is an issue that matters to our customers.  

As a result, we only want to use plastic when we need to and are taking positive steps to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Look out for our logos in store:

In March 2018, we introduced our 10-point pledge to reduce the amount of packaging we use, while maximising the volume of plastics recycled and reused when there is no other alternative.

 

The Aldi 10 Plastic and Packaging Pledges

1. By 2022 Aldi aims for 100% of all own label packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable (where it does not have a detrimental effect on product quality or safety, or increase food waste)

2. By 2025 Aldi aims to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging across all products (where it does not have a detrimental effect on product quality or safety, or increase food waste)

3. By 2025 Aldi aims to reduce packaging by 50% (relative to 2015 baseline)

4. By 2025 Aldi aims for 50% of its packaging to be made from recycled material

5. Aldi will publicly report on its packaging progress annually starting in 2019

6. Aldi is educating customers on the importance of waste reduction (reduce, reuse, recycle) through its community programmes

7. Aldi removed all single-use plastic bags from our stores at the end of 2018

8. Aldi is working in partnership with other retailers to reduce its dependence on plastic

9. Aldi has established a Packaging Task Force with its Buying Teams and external experts to deliver these goals

10. In principle Aldi supports a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles and is conducting a feasibility study into how it could implement such a scheme

New Packaging and Plastic Pledges

We aim to remove difficult to recycle packaging including expanded polystyrene, PVC and non-detectable black plastic from our core range of food products by the end of 2020.

We will initially remove non-detectable black plastic across our range of fruit and vegetables by the end of 2019 before extending it to our fresh meat, fish and chilled ready meals.

We aim to reduce plastic packaging by 25% by the end of 2023.

We will remove non-biodegradable glitter from Christmas wrapping paper and greeting cards by Christmas 2019 and from all products by the end of 2020.

 

Compostable and paper carrier bag trial

We have launched a trial of paper or compostable carrier bags across all of our 830 UK stores. From July 2019, half of all Aldi stores in the UK will offer paper bags and the rest will offer compostable carrier bags.

At the end of the trial, the option most popular with customers will be selected to roll out across the UK and offered alongside Aldi’s other reusable bags.

We expect that a significant amount of plastic will be saved when the successful trial rolls out nationally and it could help to save up to 1,300 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent to 33.3 million carrier bags.

Later this summer our customers will also be able to choose from even more sustainable options as we launch two further bags which include a new reusable bag made entirely from Aldi back of store waste and also a reusable cotton alternative.

Our new compostable bags are made of a bio-degradable material, called Bioplast, and are designed to be completely domestically compostable within 12 months. They will retail at 6p, with the paper bags retailing at 19p.

The reusable brown paper bags are sourced from sustainably managed forests and are strong enough to carry up to 11kg of groceries.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibly at Aldi, said: “Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to being a sustainable and environmentally responsible business. This trial will identify the option which best suits our shoppers.

“Cutting waste is part of Aldi’s DNA and we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. This new trial is one of the biggest we have ever launched because we want our customers to be involved and help us make the right decision for them and the environment."

 

Packaging progress

We have made good progress since our plastics pledge was introduced last year:

with a 9% reduction in own-brand packaging weight (average gram of packaging per product)

  • 85% of own brand core range packaging is currently recyclable
  • We have replaced almost 3,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic with recyclable alternatives
  • We have removed more than 550 tonnes of plastic from our own-brand products
  • We have removed or reduced plastic packaging on a range of fruit and veg, this has already saved more than 163 tonnes of plastic
  • We have replaced 265 tonnes of hard-to-recycle black plastic from other fresh fruit and veg lines
  • We have cut more than 1,050 tonnes of plastic by introducing recyclable packaging across our farm range of sliced cooked meat products
  • We have switched pizza disks from polystyrene to cardboard, which removed 180 tonnes of plastic
  • We have changed our packaging on Mamia nappies to save more than 131 tonnes of plastic
  • We will remove plastic glitter from all our own-brand products by 2020, starting with our Halloween range and Christmas cards and wrapping this year