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Aldi ditches plastic products as supermarket wars enter new frontier

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Shoppers heading to Aldi stores can expect a new look as the discount German supermarket moves further away from plastic.

Aldi plans to reduce its reliance on plastic by 25 per cent by 2025, reduce food waste and promote a circular economy, Aldi managing director Oliver Bongardt said this week. That includes pulling popular items including plastic straws and plastic tableware from shelves.

The supermarket chain launched in 2001, and committed to never offering single use plastic bags, diverting 40,000 tonnes of plastic from entering the environment in the 18 years since then, according to Aldi’s estimates.


The next step, Bongardt said, is to reduce the number of plastic products sold in store and plastic packaging.

“There is growing recognition that we all must move away from the take-make-dispose model to build a circular economy where we use less plastic and ensure the plastic we do use can be reused, recycled or composted.

“Our goal is to reduce our reliance on plastic packaging by 25 per cent by 2025. With transparency in mind, we will publicly report against these goals from 2020,” Bongardt said.

“When it comes to products and ranges, the packaging of our exclusive brands will aim to reformulate to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.”

He said paper and pulp packaging will be either sourced from responsibly managed forests, or 70 per cent recycled by 2020, and fresh produce packaging will also be changed to reduce food wastage.

“By the end of next year, customers will not find single-use plastics such as plastic straws, plastic disposable tableware and plastic stemmed cotton buds in ALDI Australia stores.”

Plastic straws have become the poster-product for the war on waste, as restaurants and businesses increasingly turn away from the single-use plastic product. Cities including Washington and Portland have gone so far as to ban the product.

Aldi’s pledge comes as both Coles and Woolworths enter their second year without single-use plastic bags.

However, both supermarkets also launched controversial shopping collectibles campaigns which encouraged shoppers to spend up to collect small plastic toys.

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