Aldi Replacing 12.5 Million Single-Use Plastic Bags With Compostable Bags

Going green is one of the best decisions we can do in our life. Even the tiniest initiative can make this world a better place to live in. Make a small step forward, and great things will happen. Aldi made a big move, and we give all our respect.

The supermarket chain will replace 12.5 million single-use plastic bags with compostable bags. They claim that all 139 of their Irish stores plan to stock 100% compostable eco-friendly bags.

Customers will be able to use loose produce bags, Aldi Reusable Shopping Bags, and reusable and recyclable Paper Bags for Life. About 10 million of the 12.5 million bags they make will be produce bags, and the rest will actually be shopping bags.

“We are very proud to be the first retailer in Ireland to offer customers biodegradable and plastic-free alternatives to our entire produce and carrier bag range, including fruit and vegetable bags, standard carrier bags and Bags for Life,” said John Curtin, Group Buying Director of Aldi.

“With 139 supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland, we are excited to see the environmental impact this new initiative will have in communities across the country.”

Customers can dump compostable bags in regular compost bins. They will be made from pasted cornstarch, and you can stack 12 kilograms in them. The new paper bags will be FSC certified and printed with sustainable ink. These can carry up to 20kg of produce.

“Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to being a sustainable and environmentally responsible business,” said Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility.

“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.”

Aldi will also eliminate non-recyclable packaging by the end of this year:

  1. By 2022, every own-label packaging will be recyclable, reusable and compostable
  2. By 2025, Aldi will use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for all products
  3. By 2025, the packaging will be reduced by 50%
  4. Aldi will use recycled material for 50% its packaging by 2025
  5. The supermarkets will publicly report on their packaging process annually. The process started in 2019
  6. Customers are educated on the importance of waste reduction. Community programs work rally well
  7. The supermarket chain works with other retailers to reduce the dependence on plastic items
  8. By the end of 2018, Aldi has removed all single-use plastic bags
  9. Aldi’s Buying Terms led to a Packaging Task Force
  10. Aldi supports a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles, and they have conducted a feasibility study into how to use this scheme

On Aldi’s website, you can read about the New Packaging and Plastic Pledges:

  • We aim to remove difficult to recycle packaging including expanded polystyrene, PVC and non-detectable black plastic from our core range of food products by the end of 2020.
  • We will initially remove non-detectable black plastic across our range of fruit and vegetables by the end of 2019 before extending it to our fresh meat, fish and chilled ready meals.
  • We aim to reduce plastic packaging by 25% by the end of 2023.
  • We will remove non-biodegradable glitter from Christmas wrapping paper and greeting cards by Christmas 2019 and from all products by the end of 2020.

The company claims that it is fully dedicated to reducing the amount of plastic they use, by turning to easily recyclable materials and sustainable packaging.

It also adds that even though they “still have a long way to go”, they are working hard to reduce their environmental impact.

Fantastic, Aldi! We hope you will inspire other companies to follow suit!