NEWS: Aldi's 'big plastic reduction'

Aldi will stop offering single-use plastic bags in 100 stores in a trial which could save 109 tonnes of plastic a year if rolled out nationwide.

The supermarket has also revealed it aims to reduce plastic packaging by 25 per cent by the end of 2023 and is 'on track to have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022'.

Britain’s fifth largest supermarket has just launched new initiatives to reduce the volume of plastic bags sold in its stores and 'provide reusable and recyclable alternatives'.

Bosses are increasing the price of flexi-loop ‘bags for life’ up from 9p to 15p 'to encourage their reuse' - with extra profits raised 'reinvested in future packaging reduction initiatives'.

The price increase will start on Monday February 24 and home-compostable bags will continue to be available in store for 6p - which the retailer says 'gives shoppers a more sustainable option'.

"Reusable drawstring produce bags, which are made from recycled bottles and retail at 25p, will also be rolled out to all UK stores"

Aldi is also making changes to the single-use produce bags across its fresh fruit and vegetable aisles.

They are being replaced with home-compostable alternatives (pictured) that can be used for household food waste collections.

Reusable drawstring produce bags, which are made from recycled bottles and retail at 25p, will also be rolled out to all UK stores.

A trial in 100 stores in the Midlands region will see free single-use plastic produce bags removed entirely and replaced with the reusable drawstring bags.

Aldi says the change will 'test whether shoppers can be encouraged to bring their own bags for loose fruit and veg or reuse ones they have bought in-store'.

If rolled out nationwide, scrapping single-use plastic bags will remove the equivalent of approximately 109 tonnes of plastic from circulation each year.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, said: “We are determined to drastically cut single-use plastic, and evolving our approach to the sale and distribution of bags is an important step forward.

“We’ve charged for carrier bags since opening our first UK store in 1990, so our shoppers are already in the habit of reusing them, but these steps will hopefully help people switch to entirely reusable alternatives.”

Last month, Aldi scrapped all plastic applicators from its own-brand tampons, saving 14 tonnes of plastic a year.

The supermarket, which has been carbon neutral since January 2019, says it is also on track to have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.

Bosses have refused to be drawn on reports they are looking to copy other supermarkets which are trialling reuse and refill schemes - whereby customers fill reusable containers from dispensers.

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