Aldi outlines its progress to achieving plastic reduction targets by 2025

This article first appeared on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Deborah Jackson

Aldi has launched its annual Plastics and Packaging Progress Report, which outlines its progress to achieving a 25 per cent reduction of plastics and packaging by 2025.

New research commissioned by Aldi Australia confirms a reduction in plastics waste is top of mind for shoppers, with 73 per cent of Australians agreeing supermarkets should work with suppliers to reduce the packaging on products.

This hunger for greater recycling action extends into their own homes, with 64 per cent saying it is important that packaging leftover from a grocery shop can be recycled.

The research found that while Aussies want to do the right thing, they’re just not sure how to. More than two in five (43 per cent) of Australians don’t always recycle packaging from their household waste. And when identifying the reason why, another 42 per cent pointed to “confusion over what is suitable for recycling”, as the main reason.

Looking for direction, four in five (79 per cent) of shoppers confirmed they would correctly sort and dispose of their household waste if given clearer instructions. 

To help curb this confusion, as part of Aldi’s plastics and packaging commitments, the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) logo and recycling instructions will be featured on 100 per cent Aldi’s exclusive brand products by the end of this year, already displaying the information on more than 75 per cent of the range.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), welcomes the plan to help put more knowledge in the hands of customers to encourage accurate recycling.

“The ARL increases recycling recovery rates and contributes to cleaner recycling streams and it is commendable to see Aldi support its customers to play their part in correctly recycling and disposing of their packaging,” she said.

“Achieving the display of the ARL on 75.6 per cent of own-brand products as of the end of 2021 is a fantastic achievement and it’s great to see Aldi on its way to achieving their goal to have it included on their entire range by the end of 2022.”

At the end of 2021, Aldi had achieved a plastic packaging reduction of 11 per cent as compared to 2019, the equivalent to preventing more than 4,000 tonnes of plastic from entering the Australian environment.

Daniel Baker, Director Corporate Responsibility, ALDI Australia, said the company is well on track to achieving all its targets.

“While we have a responsibility to reduce plastics, we also feel we have a responsibility to help our customers correctly dispose or recycle the packaging that they take home with them after their shop. The industry approved ARL instructions show how to correctly dispose of product packaging and will hopefully give our customers peace of mind that they are doing the right thing by reducing waste to landfill and contributing to a more sustainable future,” he said.

In a bid to give customers more options for recycling, Aldi has also partnered with REDcycle to offer a soft plastics recycling program across all of its stores nationally by the end of 2022. The program offers a closed loop solution that will enable its shoppers to recycle more components of their household waste by returning soft plastics to its stores to then be re-processed into new packaging materials.

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