Around the world, consumers, corporations, local governments, and nonprofits are joining together to reduce plastic use. In the United Kingdom, the popular grocery store chain Aldi has announced plans to make all of its packaging recyclable, compostable, and reusable by 2022. It’s an ambitious deadline, but one that could have major implications for plastic waste in the United Kingdom.

According to ESM Magazine, Aldi in the United Kingdom is also planning to get rid of their 5-cent plastic carrier bags and will offer their customers reusable totes instead. The chain plans on reporting their progress and has a group of experts lined up to drive innovation around their project.

Matthew Barnes, CEO of Aldi UK and Ireland, spoke with ESM Magazine.

“Our customers trust us not only to offer them high-quality products at unbeatable prices, but to help them lead healthier, better lives. That includes reducing waste, particularly around unnecessary packaging and plastics that damage the environment we live in,” Barnes said.

Lidl, another major retailer in the United Kingdom, plans to reduce their plastic packaging volumes as well. Breaking News reports that they want to reduce volumes by 20% by the year 2022. Like Aldi, they want to make all of their brand packaging 100% reusable, recyclable, renewable, and refillable.

Aldi will be working with waste organization WRAP to tackle the plastic pollution problem. They’re also planning on supporting a national deposit return for any plastic bottles in circulation.

Recently, the British government came up with a 25-year plan for reducing waste and addressing climate change. Earlier in the year, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would try to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2024. May said she hopes to help introduce plastic-free aisles in grocery stores.

Along with Aldi and Lidl, other supermarkets and stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland have also pledged to reduce their plastic waste. These stores and suppliers include Asda, Waitrose, and Iceland. In addition to helping the environment, initiatives like these can have positive effects for the brands themselves.
About 85% of people say that their purchase decisions are informed by reading a product package while shopping, and more and more labels are advertising a brand’s commitment to sustainability and environmental causes. Many shoppers like the idea of buying “green,” so if a customer knows they’re buying a safe product, there’s a chance this can help spark additional purchases.

Once again, these British brands are proving that what’s good for the environment is also good for business.


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