Aldi said it would work with suppliers to remove the equivalent of 2.2 billion single items of plastic of its shelves within the next five years
Aldi has committed to halve the volume of plastic packaging it uses in the UK by 2025, a move it estimates will prevent 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from reaching supermarket shelves.
In plans revealed late last week, the UK's fifth-largest supermarket said it would work to meet its new goals by reducing unnecessary packaging and replacing plastic with alternative materials.
All remaining plastic packaging will be recyclable and made of recycled material "wherever possible", the company said.
The new commitment builds on a previous pledge to make the packaging of all its own-label products recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2022.
"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," Aldi's chief executive Giles Hurley said. "We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years."
The supermarket said it had removed more than 6,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from its products since launching an updated plastic strategy in March 2018 and was working closely with its suppliers to develop innovative ways to further reduce avoidable plastics. Recent measures include replacing plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with paper, removing cover lids from pots of cream and yoghurt, and replacing plastic packaging on steak lines with a cardboard alternative. Hurley said the response from suppliers to the moves had been "extremely positive" so far.
Greenpeace applauded Aldi for its new goal and called on other supermarkets to follow suit. "Eight months ago Greenpeace ranked UK supermarkets on their plastic policies and Aldi was one of those lagging behind, so this new commitment for Aldi to cut plastic by 50 per cent by 2025 is a brilliant step forward," said campaigner Nina Schrank. "As one of the 10 biggest supermarkets in the UK, this ambitious target from Aldi could eliminate 74,000 tonnes of plastic - or 2.2 billion pieces - over the next five years and we stand ready to help them achieve this goal."
She added that pressure was mounting on other supermarkets to strengthen their own plastic waste targets. "Sainsbury's previously made the same commitment to halve plastic by 2025, so we're now looking to the other top supermarkets to rise to the challenge," she said. "Last year supermarket plastic rose to 900,000 tonnes per year, much of it impossible or difficult to recycle. All supermarkets should listen to their customers who want less plastic, and remove single-use plastic packaging wherever possible, and develop in-store and home delivery options with refillable containers."
Aldi also confirmed it would report on annual progress against its targets on its website.
The move comes in the same week as Aldi joined Waitrose in pledging to never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef, regardless of any future trade deals brokered with the US.
Major new analysis suggests electric vehicles could deliver fuel savings for fleet operators of over 60 per cent, while charging network continues to expand
As government launches Brexit PR offensive and news emerges of new lorry parks in Kent, many questions remain unanswered on the future of green standards and governance