Aldi UK trials new cardboard steak packaging

Aldi is trialling new cardboard steak packaging in the UK, in a bid to cut more than 240 tonnes of plastic each year.

From early September, the supermarket will sell its Specially Selected steaks in a cardboard tray instead of plastic, across more than 380 of its UK stores. The stores that will be participating include those in parts of Wales, the South East and the North West of the country.

The cardboard packaging is recyclable once the base film has been removed and is said to be sourced from sustainably-managed forests.

According to Aldi UK, this new format – which will feature on sirloin, fillet, ribeye and rump steaks – reduces the amount of plastic used by nearly 90 per cent without compromising shelf life or increasing food waste.

If successful, Aldi UK expects the trays to be rolled out nationwide by early next year, and to other fresh meat products “in due course”.

Aldi UK corporate responsibility managing director Fritz Walleczek said this is one of several packaging initiatives that Aldi is introducing over the next few months, as it works towards a target of reducing all plastic packaging by 25 per cent by the end of 2023.

“Meat is almost universally sold in plastic, but we’re looking to lead the way with alternatives – including these new cardboard steak trays,” he mentioned.

“Both food and plastic waste are important issues, but this packaging delivers on both by potentially removing 240 tonnes of plastic a year without compromising food quality or longevity.”

The UK supermarket is also currently trialling five lines of vegetables and multi-pack toilet paper without plastic packaging.

Aldi UK added that it on track to have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and aims to reduce packaging by 50 per cent by 2025.

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