Aldi removes plastic packaging from vegetables lines

Supermarket chain Aldi has started selling vegetables without plastic packaging across all of its Glasgow stores in a bid to explore customer attitudes to loose produce.

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The six-week trial focuses on five vegetable lines, which include savoy cabbage, red cabbage, white cabbage, pointed cabbage and cauliflower, potentially saving half a tonne of plastic.

If successful, Aldi hopes to roll out the initiative across the whole UK, which it estimates would remove more than 110 tonnes of plastic wrapping each year from its fresh produce lines.

UK managing director of corporate responsibility, Fritz Walleczek, said: "We’re working hard to reduce plastic, but we also need to ensure that reducing packaging doesn’t lead to unnecessary food waste.

"We’re hoping the outcome of this trial will be positive, and something that we can roll out across the rest of the UK.”

Aldi has also set a 2022 target for 100% of its own label packaging to be recyclable, reusable, or compostable when it doesn’t have a detrimental impact on quality, safety and food waste.

Moreover, the supermarket chain has a 2025 goal to cut its packaging by half, and ensure that 50% is made from recycled material, and will start reporting its annual progress this year.

This comes after Aldi decided to stop selling 5p carrier bags across all its UK stores last year, with the aim of eliminating 80 million bags per year from circulation.

It has also said it will continue to work with other retailers to reduce its dependence on plastic, and has given its support for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles across the country.

“We are onboard with innovative and new initiatives to help tackle the harmful effects of plastics on the environment and are excited to see how passionate our customers are towards making a difference,” Aldi's corporate responsibility policy states.

“We too hate to see packaging harming the environment and we aim to do what we can do to prevent it and make all our packaging easy to recycle where we can.”

 

Image credit | iStock
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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