Thursday, June 20, 2024

ALDI provides plastics and packaging update

ALDI Australia has launched its ‘2021 Plastics and Packaging Progress Report’, reviewing the supermarket’s progress to achieving its goal of a 25% reduction of plastics and packaging by 2025.

New research commissioned by the retailer confirms a reduction in plastics waste is top of mind for shoppers.

According to the research, 73% of the Australians surveyed agree supermarkets should work with suppliers to reduce the packaging on products.

This “hunger” for greater recycling action extends into their own homes. 64% of respondents say it’s important that packaging leftover from grocery shop is able to be recycled.

Helping shoppers recycle

Aussies’ recycling prowess, says ALDI, is hampered by confusion over how it all works.

43% of respondents don’t always recycle packaging from their household waste. And when identifying the reason why, another 42% pointed to ‘confusion over what is suitable for recycling’, as the major culprit in not recycling their waste.

Looking for direction, 79% of respondents confirmed they would correctly sort and dispose of their household waste if given clearer instructions.

To help curb this confusion, Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) logo and recycling instructions will be featured on all ALDI’s exclusive brand products by the end of this year.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly welcomes the plan to help put more knowledge in the hands of customers to encourage accurate recycling.

“The ARL increases recycling recovery rates and contributes to cleaner recycling streams and it is commendable to see ALDI support its customers to play their part in correctly recycling and disposing of their packaging,” she says.

“Achieving the display of the ARL on 75.6% of own-brand products as of the end of 2021 is a fantastic achievement and it’s great to see ALDI on its way to achieving their goal to have it included on their entire range by the end of 2022.”

This is coupled with ALDI’s own plastic reduction achievements. At the end of 2021, the retailer says it achieved a plastic packaging reduction of 11% as compared to 2019.

ALDI Australia Director Corporate Responsibility Daniel Baker says the business is well on-track to achieving its targets.

“Since announcing our commitments in 2019, we have achieved a massive 11% reduction in plastics, and this jumps to a huge 18% when it comes to packaging on our fresh produce range,” he says.

“While we have a responsibility to reduce plastics, we also feel we have a responsibility to help our customers correctly dispose or recycle the packaging that they take home with them after their shop. The industry approved ARL instructions show how to correctly dispose of product packaging and will hopefully give our customers peace of mind that they are doing the right thing by reducing waste to landfill and contributing to a more sustainable future.”

ALDI has also partnered with REDcycle to offer a soft plastics recycling program across all of its stores nationally by the end of 2022.

A commitment to doing the ‘right thing’

Despite confusion around household recycling, ALDI’s research found that 57% of respondents noted they ‘always’ recycle packaging from household waste. 62%, however, believed that companies should have sustainable business practices without passing on costs to consumers.

“We remain committed to transparently reporting not only our accomplishments in achieving plastics reductions across our range, but also our challenges,” says Mr Baker.

“We have big goals that require close relationships with our supplier partners to achieve them. It is exciting to see product innovation that reflects our need to move away from plastics – a good example of that is our juice boxes which now contain a paper straw.

“One thing our customers can be confident in is that we are committed to our plastics reduction targets, but it certainly won’t come at a hit to their back pockets. We understand completely the importance of affordability and we are committed to being the best priced retailer in the market. We also believe that our affordability doesn’t have to cost the earth.”

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