The low price German grocer has announced that it seeks to achieve 100% sustainability in its packaging in a move welcomed by environmental activists and customers alike.
In March, Aldi announced that they were trialling plastic-free packaging in some of their Scottish stores, and it’s now been announced that they’re going to be going completely sustainable by 2025. This should mean no more plastic at all, likely achieved through the use of clever plant-based packaging products which are now in widespread use, and of course more products that simply come with no packaging at all. Ultimately, all packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable.
Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart says: "ALDI has never offered single-use plastic shopping bags. And while we’re pleased that we’ve helped keep billions of plastic grocery bags out of landfills and oceans, we want to continue to do more. The commitments we’re making to reduce plastic packaging waste are an investment in our collective future that we are proud to make."
"In 2018, ALDI recycled more than 250,000 tons of materials, including paper, cardboard, plastic and metal. Through this recycling effort, ALDI avoided the greenhouse gas equivalent of 8,094,533 gallons of gasoline."
This new measure was announced in a press release, which also included some additional points of interest. Firstly, there’s also a commitment to reduce Aldi own brand product packaging by 15%, which will likely come about naturally as unnecessary plastics are phased out. By 2020, Aldi will also include How2Recycle labels on products, which help consumers understand which parts of the packaging can be recycled, and how this can be achieved.
Many other food retailers have made noises about their desire to switch to more environmentally friendly packaging, but this is possibly the first major announcement of a commitment from a retailer. In this regard, Aldi does have an advantage over its competitors. More than 90% of the products that Aldi sells are own-brand items, which gives Aldi a very large degree of control over how they’re packaged.
Those in the food retail industry will be well aware that there’s a juggling act between meeting environmental commitments, dealing with suppliers, and managing the expectations of consumers. Aldi is able to overcome some of this by catering to customer demand for plastic-free packaging with its own products.
Retailers especially will be the ones taking the brunt of consumer opinion, and we’ve certainly seen this shift in recent years as people demand more environmentally conscious packaging decisions.
Here at Virtual College, we’re pleased to be one of the go-to training providers for food sector businesses, including caterers, manufacturers and retailers. We offer a number of courses including the popular Level 2 food hygiene certificate. As a result, we always aim to keep our finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the sector, with environmentally friendly practices a major focus. Keep an eye on our blog for further updates in the world of food retail.