How we’re tackling packaging and plastic waste
Plastic packaging plays an important role in protecting products from damage, making sure that they can be transported easily, and helps reduce waste by preserving food for longer. However, we are aware of the negative impact that plastic has on the environment, and know this is an issue which matters to our customers.
As a result, our Buying and Plastic & Packaging teams have been reviewing our entire product range and have taken positive steps to reduce the amount of plastic and packaging we use.
Our Packaging Goals
We at Aldi are fully committed to reducing and removing unnecessary plastic and packaging from our products, which is why we first introduced our pledges back in March 2018. However, lots has changed since then. In 2022, we updated these pledges! This is what they look like now.
Our Progress so far…
We have been reviewing our range line by line, working internally and with suppliers to make improvements to our packaging. Some changes are more difficult than others, and can take time to test and ensure that we don’t compromise on the excellent quality of our products which our customers have come to expect.
We are proud of the progress we have made so far, which includes:
Replacing over 930 tonnes of unrecyclable material with recyclable alternatives - equivalent to 72 double decker buses!
Removed more than 2,150 tonnes of plastic from our own label products (or 11 blue whales!)
What changes have we made to our packaging?
At Aldi, we are continually working to reduce the amount of plastic and packaging we use, and to ensure that the materials we do use are easy for our customers to recycle.
By working with our suppliers, we have already made many changes to improve our packaging and reduce our plastic usage. Some of these changes include:
Our fresh meat range has moved from cardboard shelf-ready packaging (SRPs) to reusable crates, saving a fantastic 2,200 tonnes of packaging per year.
Our Specially Selected range is being trialed in 100% home compostable trays, removing 67 tonnes of plastic and 52 tonnes of card per year.
Aldi became the first retailer to replace its non-recyclable plastic packaging from its Own Brand White Family Sliced Pan and 100% Wholegrain Pan with 100% recyclable wax paper packaging. This will save 18 tonnes of plastic per year.
We are the first retailer to move all own-brand teabags to 100% biodegradable.
Soft drink cans moved from plastic shrink-wrap to 100% recyclable card wrap, removing over 2.7 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic.
Our entire 1L milk carton range moved to fully renewable plant based materials. This move affects 13.7 million cartons.
We removed 43 tonnes of virgin plastic across our 3L Milk range by down gauging the carton.
We have removed glitter from all of our own-label Halloween and Christmas ranges.
Our packaging footprint
The below graphic outlines our complete plastic packaging footprint for the full calendar year 2020. This includes all own-label and branded primary, secondary and tertiary plastic packaging used across all of our products sold in stores and online during this period. We commit to publishing this data on our website annually.
We are continually working to reduce the amount of plastic that we use and ensure that the materials we do use are easy to recycle.
Aldi Ireland has been a member of Repak since 1999. Repak was founded by Irish industry in 1997 to assist its members in meeting their legal obligations to fund the recovery and recycling of packaging associated with their goods and services. Members are charged based on the type and volume of packaging they produce. This principle encourages the reduction of packaging placed on the market, with all funds collected by Repak going towards the recycling of packaging material. Aldi Ireland have signed up to Repak’s Plastic Packaging Pledge. To find out more about Repak’s Plastic Packaging Pledge click HERE.