In eco-related news this week, the store chain Aldi has shared a major announcement regarding its 139 stores in Ireland – as of January 2020, Aldi will replace its 12.5 million plastic bags with compostable ones.
According to their announcement, the new eco-friendly bags will come in three different variants – loose produce bags, reusable and recyclable Paper Bags for Life, and Aldi Reusable Shopping Bags (1). The bags are said to be of the highest quality too with no sub-par materials. Both the loose fruits and vegetable bags and the Aldi Shopping Bags are going to be 100% biodegradable. The Aldi Paper Bag For Life variant will be reusable and recyclable too.
Of the 12.5 million new bags, 10 million are said to be standard loose produce bags and the other 2.5 million will be of the other 2 variations.
The Aldi Ireland Group Buying Director John Curtin has said regarding the announcement that:
“We are very proud to be the first retailer in Ireland to offer customers biodegradable and plastic-free alternatives to our entire produce and carrier bag range, including fruit and vegetable bags, standard carrier bags and Bags for Life. With 139 supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland, we are excited to see the environmental impact this new initiative will have in communities across the country.”
The compostable bags are going to be quite sturdy as well – they are said to carry up to 12 kilograms of produce. They’ll be made out of pasted corn starch while the paper bags will be made out of eco-friendly and FSC-certified paper printed with water inks (2). The paper bags will be able to carry up to 20 kilos of weight.
In what’s potentially even bigger news, Aldi has also said that they plan to eliminate all hard-to-recycle packaging from their core range of foods by the end of 2020. This includes all packaging with PVC, polystyrene, black plastic, and other similar materials.
This won’t be the first step in that direction the store chain has taken. Earlier this year, they banned undetectable black plastic packaging from their fruit & vegetable range, as well as from their fresh beef range. This change alone led to 8.15 million fewer non-recyclable black plastic trays in their stores.
As for even further into the future – Aldi plans for 100% of their own label’s products to have reusable, compostable, and recyclable packaging by the end of 2022. They also aim to reduce the overall plastic packaging of products in their stores by 25% by the end of 2023.