Aldi has today made a commitment to send zero waste to landfill by 2025 in a move that has drawn praise from the Federal Minister for Environment.
To reach this goal, Aldi will first aim to totally eliminate any food waste sent to landfill by 2023, the German-headquartered discount supermarket chain said in a statement.
Aldi will achieve this by doubling down on its segregated waste collection in stores, doubling food donations, and identifying more opportunities for recycling within the organisation and the supply chain.
Commenting on the announcement, Environment Minister Sussan Ley said: “ALDI Australia’s commitment to reducing waste and improving sustainable practices will hopefully have an immense flow-on effect across its supply chain, and through to consumers.”
Aldi’s commitment is also in line with the Government’s National Waste Policy Action Plan to reduce the waste generated by each Australian by 10 per cent, and halve organic waste going to landfill by 2030.
Ley said national waste targets were achievable if “businesses and shoppers get behind them”.
“With innovative solutions and practical measures we really can work to a future with less waste.”
Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey said it was “admirable” that Aldi was doubling the amount of food to food rescue organisations.
“Their latest commitment to zero waste will allow the growing number of Australians facing food insecurity to have even greater access to food,” Casey said.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific's Lindsay Soutar said it was good to see Aldi building on its renewable energy commitment.
"Supermarkets are some of Australia’s biggest and most complex businesses and having big retailers like Aldi take concrete steps on issues like waste and climate impact makes a huge difference," she told Yahoo Finance.
What will Aldi actually do?
The business will reuse or recycle materials to reduce unnecessary waste from being sent to landfill, said Aldi Australia corporate responsibility director Daniel Baker.
Aldi’s stores, which are already linked to at least one food rescue charity, will expand its food rescue program to include animals when food is deemed unsuitable for human consumption, the supermarket said in a statement.
It will also look into “closed-loop opportunities” with business partners, such as sending broken pallets to be chipped into garden mulch and then sold as Special Buys to customers.
And where the supermarket is rolling out new uniforms later this year, the old uniforms will be sent to a textile site to be recycled into other apparel and furnishings.
Aldi is also currently trialling in-store recycling services to help customers recycle common materials like coffee capsules and soft plastics. Aldi also has battery recycling services available in every store.