Discount supermarket chain ALDI has made a bold step forward in the fight against the global plastics crisis with a new policy set to minimize packaging waste.
The policy outlines the supermarket giant's plans to only use packaging that is completely reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
Along with this initiative, ALDI says it will reduce all its packaging material by a minimum of 50% by the same year.
A final commitment the company has voiced is to work with its supplier to enact more sustainable practices. Since most of its products (90%) are ALDI-exclusive, the chain is able to exert greater control over how they're sourced, produced, and transported.
Two of the changes it says it will make by 2020 are to provide a How2Recycle label on all ALDI-exclusive consumable packaging, and to make private-label products easier for customers to reuse.
These are far from the brand's first sustainability initiatives. Over four decades ago, ALDI U.S. stopped supplying single-use plastic grocery bags, asking shoppers to bring their own reusable bags instead.
By company estimates, this practice has helped keep approximately 15 billion single-use plastic bags out of landfills and oceans.
What's more, according to ALDI, its stores recycled more than 250,000 metric tons (MT) of materials in 2018 alone, preventing the greenhouse gas equivalent of 8,094,533 gallons of gasoline.
These goals were achievements of a larger ALDI Corporate Responsibility Program, which works to reduce food waste, support natural disaster relief efforts, and build stronger communities through its long-standing partnership with Feeding America, explains the company.
"The commitments we're making to reduce plastic packaging waste are an investment in our collective future that we are proud to make," says Jason Hart, CEO of ALDI U.S.