Aldi U.K. aims to cut plastics in packaging by half by 2025

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Aldi operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland have stepped up their sustainability goals to include a reduction of the volume of plastic packaging it uses by half by 2025. This reduction is equal to removing more than 2 billion single items of plastic.

The latest target was set July 9, and is an addition to the retailer’s overall strategy to ensure that all own brand products are recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022. Aldi U.S. has similar sustainability goals, including a pledge to make 100% of its private label packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while cutting packing materials for those products by 15% over the same period.

Aldi U.K. has had a plastic-reduction strategy in place but the new target to cut by half and remove 74,000 metric tons of plastic packaging or 2.2 billion pieces of plastic is an enhanced measure.

Since 2018, the retailer has removed more than 6,000 metric tons of plastic and replaced more than 3,200 tonnes of non-recyclable material with an alternative that is recyclable.

Giles Hurley

“We are stepping up our efforts to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used across our business because it is the right thing to do for a sustainable future,” said Giles Hurley, CEO, Aldi U.K. and Ireland. “We know this issue matters to our customers too and are confident they will support our initiatives to reduce plastic in the coming years.”

Hurley himself issued an ultimatum to suppliers on the issue of sustainability, sending a letter to its supplier partners earlier in the year to step up to the retailer’s sustainability measures.

In regards to the latest announcement around plastic, the retailer said it “has been working closely with its suppliers in recent months” to develop ways to reduce plastics, including replacing plastic wrapping on toilet rolls with a paper alternative, removing over lids from cream and yogurts, and eradicating plastic lids from packs of its Mamia baby wipes.

“We can only achieve our long-term plastic reduction targets with support from suppliers,” Hurley said in the July 9 announcement. “The response we have received so far has been extremely positive and we look forward to working with them to develop further innovative packaging solutions.”