The affordable grocery chain ALDI announced that they are planning to go 100% recyclable or compostable by 2025. This isn’t surprising, because the store is already known for its sustainable practices.
What has ALDI already accomplished for sustainability?
ALDI has already enacted several environmental initiatives including charging money for plastic bag use, recycling material, and donating uneaten food. Not only this, but they also keep track of their environmental footprint and focus on lowering their emissions from food miles.
Moving towards compostable and recyclable packaging is a great move because we produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year. Decreasing this number is extremely important, as our oceans a full of plastic.
Starting with plastic bags was a great start, as ~500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. This equates to over one million plastic bags every minute. Additionally, over 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans annually. Also, some 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in 2014 alone. However, ALDI is making bigger moves for 2025.
As per CEO of ALDI U.S., Jason Hart, “the commitments [ALDI’s] making to reduce packaging waste are an investment in our collective future that we are proud to make”. They’re also “pleased that [ALDI has] helped keep billions of plastic grocery bags out of landfills and oceans” and that they “want to continue to do more”.
Their sustainability goals for the future include:
- 100 percent of ALDI packaging, including plastic packaging, will have reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025;
- Packaging material of all ALDI-exclusive products to be reduced by at least 15 percent by 2025;
- 100 percent of ALDI-exclusive consumable packaging to include How2Recycle label by 2020;
- Implement an initiative to make private-label product packaging easier for customers to reuse by 2020;
- Guide continuous improvement of product packaging by internal expertise and external evaluations
Since ALDI’s product sourcing is over 90% ALDI-exclusive, they have extreme influence over how their products are sourced, produced, and brought to shelves. Hopefully other grocery stores will catch on to ALDI’s wave and progress to be more sustainable in the future.
Madeline is a writer for the Energy section at The Rising and a Environmental Sustainability and Psychology student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.