U.K.: Aldi trials reusable produce bags to reduce single-use plastic

November 12 , 2019

Aldi U.K. is taking a step forward in making its stores more sustainable with the creation of a new reusable bag for loose fruits and vegetables.

It announced a trial run for this product as a part of a larger effort to reduce single-use plastic use.

Shoppers will be able to buy reusable bags for their produce for 25 pence, about US$0.30. The bags are drawstring and are made of recycled plastic bottles.

Stores across Scotland, northern England and the Midlands will offer the bag from the end of November in more than 250 stores. 

Aldi hasn't said when the trial will end. But, if successful, they plan on rolling it out to its over 830 U.K. stores. 

“We are committed to cutting the amount of plastic that Aldi and our customers use, particularly excess or single-use plastic like produce bags," said managing director of corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek. 

The grocer works towards a goal of reducing plastic by 25% by the end of 2023. This initiative, if introduced nationally, would remove 113 metric tons (MT) of single-use plastic from circulation.

Earlier this year, the German-based grocer trailed paper and compostable carrier bags and eliminated plastic packaging on various Aldi-brand products. 

Aldi added that they will have all labels be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022. Since 2018, it has removed more than 550MT of plastic. 

“We are hopeful that our customers will embrace these new reusable produce bags whenever they’re buying loose fruit and veg and, together, we will be able to take more than 100 tonnes of plastic a year out of circulation,” Walleczek said. 

In other news, Aldi continues investing in its stores in the UK. It said that in 2019 and 2020 it has invested about US$1.3 billion (BN) in stores in the country. By 2025, it plans to double its store numbers.

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