ALDI Australia has committed to zero waste to landfill by 2025.
To reach the zero-waste milestone, ALDI is first focusing on food, with a goal to achieve zero food waste sent to landfill by 2023. The program will see the retailer:
- Expand segregated waste collection at stores.
- Double food donations.
- Identify closed-loop recycling opportunities within the organisation and its supply chain.
According to ALDI, the zero-waste commitment puts the business in step with the Australian government’s National Waste Policy Action Plan, which aims to reduce the total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person and to halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030. Currently, Australia is said to waste more than 7.3 million tonnes of food every year costing the economy over $20 billion annually.
ALDI Australia Corporate Responsibility Director Daniel Baker says every present and future action taken to achieve the company’s zero-waste commitment has been carefully considered to ensure the solution is both viable and impactful.
“Our commitment will see the business reduce the amount of waste created and reuse or recycle materials to cease unnecessary waste from being sent to landfill. It is our intention that collectively these actions will make a difference,” he says.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley adds: “ALDI Australia’s commitment to reducing waste and improving sustainable practices will hopefully have an immense flow-on effect across its supply chain, and through to consumers.
“Significant commitments like ALDI’s ‘zero waste to landfill’ show that Australia’s national waste targets are attainable if business and shoppers get behind them. With innovative solutions and practical measures, we really can work to a future with less waste.”
ALDI’s food rescue program will expand to reuse food for animals, once the food is deemed not suitable for human consumption.
ALDI stores around the country are already linked to one or more food rescue charities. In 2020 alone, ALDI says it donated over 10 million meals and more than 66,000 kilograms of non-food items to charity partners.
Produce with ‘minor imperfections’
ALDI has also launched a new range called Market Buy, which features seasonal fruits and vegetables that have “minor imperfections”. The Market Buy range, says ALDI, empowers farmers to sell more of their crops and avoid edible produce from going to waste.
In addition, ALDI will work to investigate closed-loop opportunities with its business partners. This includes sending broken pallets to be chipped into garden mulch and then sold as Special Buys.
The supermarket is also rolling out new uniforms for their store employees this year. The old garments will be sent to a textile site to be recycled into apparel and furnishings.
ALDI is trialling how customers can reduce their waste footprint through in-store recycling services in which common materials, including coffee capsules and soft plastics, can be recycled.
This is in addition to ALDI’s battery recycling service, which has been available at every ALDI store since 2013.