Aldi to trial paper or compostable bags in all stores to reduce its plastic use

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Retailer Aldi has announced that it is launching a trial of paper or compostable carrier bags in all of its 830 UK stores to reduce its plastic usage.  

From July, half of all Aldi stores in the UK will offer paper bags and the rest will offer compostable carrier bags.  

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There will be a dedicated Design for Lifecycle Theatre at The Recycling Event, with speakers including Waitrose, WRAP, TerraCycle and many more. Info: https://www.therecyclingevent.com/

At the end of the trial, the option most popular with customers will be selected to roll out across the UK and offered alongside the retailer’s other reusable bags.  

Aldi has said it expects that a significant amount of plastic will be saved when the trial rolls out nationally. 

The bag that rolls out to all 830 stores has the potential to help save up to 1,300 tonnes of plastic per year, which is the equivalent to 33.3 million carrier bags, said the retailer.  

Later this summer, customers will also be able to choose from even more sustainable options when the retailer launches two further bags, including a new reusable bag made entirely from Aldi’s back of store waste and a reusable cotton alternative. 

The supermarket’s new compostable bags are made of a bio-degradable material called Bioplastic and are designed to be domestically compostable within 12 months and will retail at 6p. 

The reusable brown paper bags are sourced from sustainably managed forests and are strong enough to carry up to 11kg of groceries. These bags will retail for 19p.  

Aldi managing director of corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek said: “Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to become a sustainable and environmentally responsible business. This trial will identify the option which best suits our shoppers. Cutting waste is part of Aldi’s DNA and we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. This new trial is one of the biggest we have ever launched because we want our customers to be involved and help us make the right decision for them and the environment.” 

Alongside the trial, the retailer has also set out two new plastic and packaging pledges. These include: 

  • Aiming to remove difficult to recycle packaging including expanded polystyrene, PVC and non-detectable black plastic from its core food range by the end of 2020  
  • Aiming to reduce plastic packaging by 25% by the end of 2023.  

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