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Aldi makes huge push against plastic use

Aldi makes huge push against plastic use

Steven Li
aldi store

Aldi, aside from its low prices, has proven to be an environmentally conscious company. It has already pledged to implement 100% recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. Earlier this month, the company pledged to take its sustainability efforts one large step further. This time, it tackles the plastic problem.

Aldi Tries Plastic Bag Alternatives At Scale

Aldi is looking to replace plastic bags with either paper or compostable bags. Eventually, it hopes to roll out this ambitious plan to all of its 830 stores.

Specifically, the company’s paper bags are made from materials sourced from sustainable forests. On the other hand, its compostable bags are made of bioplast, which is compostable within a year.

To start, Aldi is experimenting with offering paper bags in one half of its stores and compostable bags in the other. The company will roll out the more popular option nationwide.

Altogether, Aldi’s plan to replace its plastic bags with either paper or compostable bags will save upwards of 1,300 tons of plastic annually.

Next Steps for Aldi

Aside from its current initiative to replace plastic bags with paper and compostable alternatives, Aldi also hopes to introduce other sustainable initiatives.

For instance, the company will roll out a reusable bag made entirely of back-of-store waste as well as one made of cotton. Additionally, Aldi aims to reduce plastic packaging by one-quarter by the year 2023.

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Fritz Wallaczec, the company’s Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility affirmed Aldi’s dedication to sustainability. He said, “Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to being a … environmentally responsible business.”

Conclusions

It will be interesting to see if other chains follow suit. So far, Walmart has made a similar commitment to introducing reusable plastic bags at its cash registers. However, Walmart’s bags are offered to customers at the $0.98 price-point, which many consumers would realistically not opt for.

Currently, companies like Target, Safeway, and Costco have yet to come out with alternatives for traditional plastic bags. Hence, they and others continue to contribute to the plastic problem.

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  • According to the link provided, “bioplastic” may still contain petroleum products and NOT be compostable. The term is simple greenwashing. The solution is very simple: use bags of post-consumer recycled paper and/or sell reusable cloth bags. Charge for them both, because many or most consumers respond, not to the carrot of concern for the environment, but only to the stick of increased costs. This is not difficult. It only requires a tiny bit of leadership. Honestly: look at our rivers and oceans. How is it we are still devising ways to continue using petroleum products? And a 25% reduction in plastic packaging in 4 years is a risibly conservative response to a crisis. Sorry, Aldi: we need you to do a LOT better, and your competitors, too.

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