// Aldi reveals new initiatives to reduce plastic waste
// The discounter aims to encourage customers to reuse bags by increasing the price
// The 6p price increase will be implemented from February 24
Aldi will reduce the volume of plastic bags sold in stores by providing reusable and recyclable alternatives in a bid to step up its sustainability initiatives.
The German discounter is putting the price of its flexi-loop “bags for life” up from 9p to 15p to encourage customers to reuse.
The increase in price will be implemented from February 24.
Meanwhile, home-compostable bags will continue to be available in store for 6p.
Aldi said the money raised from the price increase will be reinvested in future packaging reduction initiatives.
The supermarket is also switching up its single-use produce bags across its fresh fruit and vegetable aisles.
They are being replaced with home-compostable alternatives that can be used for household food waste collections.
Reusable drawstring produce bags – made from recycled bottles and retail at 25p – will also be rolled out to all UK stores.
Moreover, Aldi’s free single-use plastic produce bags will be removed entirely and replaced with the reusable drawstring bags across 100 stores in the Midlands region as part of a trial.
The trial aims to find out whether shoppers can be encouraged to bring their own bags for loose fruit and veg or reuse ones they have bought in-store.
If rolled out nationwide, scrapping single-use plastic bags will 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,” Aldi managing director of corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek said.
“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.”
Last year, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer became the first major retailers to introduce new refill or bring-your-own-container initiatives in response to growing concerns from consumers around excessive plastic waste from packaging.
Big 4 grocer Asda followed suit by kicking of 2020 with plans to launch a refill scheme at its Leeds store this May.
Despite the sustainable initiatives undertaken by these grocers, Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker criticised the refill offering on Thursday, claiming that it resulted in an increased amount of food waste.