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Aldi steps up plastics reduction

All packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025

Aldi, the rapidly growing hard discount grocer, is ramping up its commitment to combat the global plastics crisis. On Wednesday, the company announced that by 2025, 100% of Aldi packaging, including plastic packaging, will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Aldi will also reduce packaging material across its entire range by at least 15%, the company said.

Because more than 90% of its product range is Aldi-exclusive, the retailer has the ability to influence how its products are sourced, produced and delivered to shelves. The company says it is committed to working with its supplier community to achieve a series of comprehensive packaging goals, including:

• By 2025, 100% of ALDI packaging, including plastic packaging, will have reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging;

• By 2025, packaging material of all ALDI-exclusive products will be reduced by at least 15%;

• By 2020, 100% of ALDI-exclusive consumable packaging will include the How2Recycle certification label;

• By 2020, Aldi will implement an initiative to make private label product packaging easier for customers to reuse;

The company will guide continuous improvement of product packaging by internal expertise and external evaluations.

Environmental practices are nothing new for the company. According to Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi U.S., “Aldi has never offered single-use plastic shopping bags. And while we're pleased that we've helped keep billions of plastic grocery bags out of landfills and oceans, we want to continue to do more. The commitments we're making to reduce plastic packaging waste are an investment in our collective future that we are proud to make."

By never having used single-use plastic bags, Aldi estimates that it has kept some 15 billion bags out of landfills and oceans. Last year, it partnered with How2Recycle, a standardized labeling system, to encourage and empower its customers to recycle. Aldi itself recycled more than 250,000 tons of materials in 2018, including paper, cardboard, plastic and metal.

With about 1,800 locations in 35 states, Aldi U.S. is almost midway through a $5.3 billion, five-year expansion program that will enlarge its store base by almost 50% and upgrade most of its stores. The company ranked 17th in overall sales on the 2019 SN Top 75.

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