Aldi throws weight behind WRAP’s plastic initiative

Aldi throws weight behind WRAP’s plastic initiative
Credit: Cristina Nixau

Supermarket Aldi has thrown its weight behind WRAP’s new cross-sector initiative to transform the UK plastics system and tackle plastic pollution.

The initiative aligns with Aldi’s own packaging reduction strategy, with the supermarket announcing it will ensure that all packaging on its own-label products will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.

To facilitate this, the supermarket will scrap its 5p carrier bags and instead offers customers bags for life alongside reusable 9p bags from back-of-store plastic waste.

It has also pledged its support in principle for a national deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and is currently assessing the feasibility of how such a scheme could be implemented.

Matthew Barnes, CEO of Aldi UK & IRE, said: “Our customers trust us not only to offer them high-quality products at unbeatable prices, but to help them lead healthier, better lives.

“That includes reducing waste, particularly around unnecessary packaging and plastics that damage the environment we live in.

“While we cannot do this alone – and call on others to collaborate with us and others to drive change industry-wide – we are committed to doing all we can to lead the way and to bring our customers on this journey with us.”

Aldi has already removed all plastic stems from its cotton buds, which it achieved in December 2017, and banned all microbeads and microplastics from products in 2015.

It has sent no waste to landfill since 2014 and was also among the first to sign the Courtauld Commitment 2025 to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink waste by 20 per cent by 2025.

It recently announced it had joined the Champions 12.3 coalition with a pledge to halve operational waste by 2030.

Aldi will now provide regular updates on progress, including making further commitments when possible, and will publish an annual packaging and plastics report each spring.

WRAP CEO Marcus Gover said: “Through WRAP’s new ambitious, cross-sector initiative, which will be unveiled soon, we will work together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, particularly in reducing food waste, but prevent it from polluting the environment.”