In effort to cut single-use plastics, Aldi trials reusable bags for loose produce

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Aldi is taking one more step in the quest for a more sustainable future, testing reusable bags for loose fruits and vegetables as part of its initiative to cut single-use plastics.

More than 250 stores in Scotland, northern England and the Midlands will offer the bags through the end of November as a more sustainable alternative to single-use plastic. The bags are made from recycled plastic bottles and will be sold for 25p each.

“We are committed to cutting the amount of plastic that Aldi and our customers use, particularly excess or single-use plastic like produce bags," Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, sayas, "It is a long journey, but every little step like this brings us closer to our target."

This is the supermarket’s latest step to reduce unnecessary plastic as it works towards reducing plastic packaging by 25% by the end of 2023. If introduced nationally, the initiative will remove the equivalent of 113 tonnes of single-use plastic from circulation each year.

Aldi says it will have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022. Since 2018, it has removed more than 550 tonnes of plastic and replaced nearly 3,000 tonnes of unrecyclable material with recyclable alternatives.

“We are hopeful that our customers will embrace these new reusable produce bags whenever they’re buying loose fruit and veg and, together, we will be able to take more than 100 tonnes of plastic a year out of circulation,” Walleczek says.

Aldi is Britain’s fifth largest supermarket with over 840 stores and almost 33,000 employees. The company has more than doubled its market share since 2010. In the 12 weeks to 8th September 2019, Aldi grew sales by 6.3% and achieved an 8.1% share of the UK grocery market, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

Aldi is investing £1bn in stores and distribution centres across the UK in 2019 and 2020. By 2025, it plans to double its store numbers inside the M25 - from 45 to 100 - and operate more than 1,200 stores.

 The company’s has launched or fostered a number of initiatives, including:

  • A five-year partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust – its fundraising target of £5m will go towards helping the trust to reach out to every young person with cancer in the UK. 
  • Raising pay rates above those hose of the Government’s National Living Wage and also above the Living Wage Foundation. Store assistants receive a minimum hourly rate of £9.10 nationally and £10.55 in London.
  • Partnerign with Team GB to ensure every member of the team has access to fresh healthy Aldi food via monthly shopping vouchers, and that 1.2 million 5-14 year olds will learn about the benefits of cooking fresh, healthy food via its Get Set to Eat Fresh education initiative. 
  • Ranking as the best-performing supermarket for compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, underlining its commitment to maintaining fair, predictable and sustainable prices within its supply chain.

 

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