Climate Action

Aldi commits to removing over 2 billion pieces of plastic by 2025

By 2020 Aldi aims for 100% of all of their own label packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compositable and across all products by 2025.

  • 14 July 2020
  • Cordelia Van-Ristell

By 2020 Aldi aims for 100% of all of their own label packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compositable and across all products by 2025.

Last year’s report by Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace, revealed that seven out of the top 10 UK supermarkets had increased their plastic footprint. With Aldi and Asda at the bottom of the table.

Aldi has announced an ambitious new commitment to reduce the volume of plastic packaging used by 50% by 2025.

This new commitment will see the chain remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging during the next five years, the equivalent to 2.2 billion single items of plastic.

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

Aldi says whatever plastic is used will be recyclable and/or made of recyclable material wherever possible. The new target is part of the company’s overall strategy to ensure that all own-label products are recyclable, reusable or compositable by 2020 and branded products by 2025.

“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.” Said Giles Hurley, Chief Executive Officer at Aldi UK and Ireland.

Aldi has been working closely with its suppliers in recent months to develop innovative ways to reduce avoidable plastics.

These include replacing plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with a paper alternative, removing over lids from cream and yogurts and eradicating plastic lids from packs of its Mamia baby wipes.

Aldi has removed more than 6,000 tonnes of plastic and replaced over 3,200 tonnes of unrecyclable material with recyclable alternatives, since introducing its plastic-reduction strategy in March 2018.

Giles 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.”    

Reacting to Aldi’s new target, Greenpeace campaigner Nina Schrank said: “Eight months ago, Greenpeace ranked UK supermarkets on their plastic policies and Aldi was one of those lagging behind, so this new commitment is a brilliant step forward”.

“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," Schrank concluded.