Aldi commits to removing 2.2 billion items of plastic by 2025

Aldi has committed to removing 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging by 2025, thereby reducing plastic volume by half. This figure is equivalent to 2.2 billion single items of plastic.

In order to meet this target, the supermarket said it plans to switch to alternative materials and remove unnecessary packaging across its product range.

The new commitment is part of Aldi’s plastic reduction strategy from March 2018, in which it aims to ensure all products it sells are recyclable, reusable or compostable: across own label items by 2022 and branded products by 2025. So far, the grocer said it has managed to remove over 6,000 tonnes of plastic and replace more than 3,200 tonnes of unrecyclable material with recyclable alternatives.

Giles Hurley, chief executive officer, Aldi UK and Ireland, commented: “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. We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.”    

Aldi also revealed it is developing innovative methods with suppliers as part of this effort. This has led to plastic wrapping on toilet rolls being replaced with a paper alternative and plastic packaging on steak lines being changed to a cardboard alternative.

Hurley added: “We can only achieve our long-term plastic reduction targets with support from suppliers. 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.” 

Sustainability has become an increasingly important topic in retail over recent years, although there are fears that the issue slip down the agenda due to the additional challenges posed to the sector by Covid-19. However, consumer pressure is likely to ensure retailers continue undertaking sustainability and other ethical initiatives, with people becoming more community-orientated as a result of the crisis.