// Lidl will next month launch food packaging using ocean bound plastic collected from South East Asia
// Initiative will prevent over 60 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean per year
// New packaging will be rolled out across 13 fresh fish products including white fish and salmon
Lidl is poised to launch new packaging using plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean, collected from beaches and coastline around South East Asia.
The German grocer said it is the first UK grocer to introduce such a scheme, which aims to initially prevent more than 60 tonnes of plastic from being introduced to the ocean per year – the equivalent of 2.5 million plastic water bottles.
Lidl said it would roll out the packaging from March 30 across fresh fish products in partnership with supplier Copernus, representing more than 50 per cent of the discounter’s fish lines and including white fish and salmon.
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Between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of plastic packaging that reaches the ocean enters from coastlines in developing regions such as South East Asia, which is where Lidl will source its materials for its new plastic packaging initiative.
The new packaging is made from 80 per cent recycled content and a minimum of 30 per cent of the weight of the tray is made up of ocean-bound plastic.
The retailer plans to roll out the new packaging scheme across its entire fresh fish range in 2020 and is exploring other uses for the packaging across other product lines.
Lidl has also improved the recyclability of the packaging – which will divert over 200 tonnes from landfill with a new recyclable tray – with a “widely recyclable” labelling scheme which means the majority of customers can recycle at kerbside.
This new packaging forms part of Lidl’s initiatives to ensure half of packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025, reduce plastic by 20 per cent by 2022, and make 100 per cent of own-brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025.
“By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, according to data from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,” Lidl head of corporate social responsibility Georgina Hall said.
“The majority of ocean plastic enters the sea from 10 main entry points, eight of which are in Asia.
“Countries like those in South East Asia lack the waste management infrastructure to manage this problem, which is often overwhelmed by population growth or tourism.
“We are proud to be the first UK supermarket introducing packaging incorporating plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean, helping to tackle the problem directly as part of our commitment to prevent plastics ending up as waste.
“We are actively looking to extend this innovative solution to other product lines to help reduce the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans and keep our environments healthy.”