Aldi revamps plastic bag plans in bid to encourage re-use

Supermarket to increase single use bag charge and trial reusable produce bags

Aldi has become the latest supermarket to take steps to curb plastic bag waste, announcing plans to increase the charge for single use bags and introduce new reusable options.

The company said it will from next Monday increase the price of its flexi-loop ‘bags for life’ from 9p to 15p in a bid to “encourage their reuse”. Home-compostable bags will continue to be available in store for 6p, with all money raised from the charges reinvested in future packaging reduction initiatives.

In addition, the retailer is to become the latest supermarket to crack down on single-use produce bags for its fresh fruit and vegetable aisles. The plastic bags will be replaced with home-compostable alternatives that can be used for household food waste collections, while reusable drawstring produce bags made from recycled bottles are to be rolled out at all UK stores with a retail price of 25p.

Moreover, the company confirmed a trial at 100 stores in the Midlands region will see free single-use plastic produce bags removed entirely and replaced with the reusable drawstring bags, as the company looks to test whether shoppers can be encouraged to bring their own bags for loose fruit and veg or reuse ones they have bought in-store.

Aldi said that if the approach proves successful it has the potential to remove the equivalent of approximately 109 tonnes of plastic from circulation each year.

“We are determined to drastically cut single-use plastic, and evolving our approach to the sale and distribution of bags is an important step forward,” said Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi. “We’ve charged for carrier bags since opening our first UK store in 1990, so our shoppers are already in the habit of reusing them, but these steps will hopefully help people switch to entirely reusable alternatives.”

The plans are the latest in a string of moves from the retailer to reduce plastic packaging waste. For example, in recent months the company has scrapped all plastic applicators from its own-brand tampons, saving 14 tonnes of plastic a year, and trialled the replacement of plastic trays for steak products with cardboard alternatives.

Source : Business green