Aldi's Black Country single-use bags trial

By John Corser | Business | Published:

Aldi supermarkets in the Black Country will be among the first in the chain to scrap single-use plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables as part of its campaign to reduce the volume of the bags sold and switch to reusable alternatives.

The new reusable bags for fruit and veg

Later this month, 100 stores in the Midlands will trial removing free single-use plastic produce bags entirely.

Instead, they will be replaced with reusable drawstring bags, to test whether shoppers can be encouraged to bring their own bags for loose fruit and veg or re-use ones they have bought in store. The drawstring produce bags are made from recycled bottles and retail at 25p.

If rolled out nationwide, scrapping single-use plastic bags will remove the equivalent of approximately 109 tonnes of plastic from circulation each year.

Aldi is also putting the price of its flexi-loop ‘bags for life’ up from 9p to 15p to encourage their re-use. The price increase is across all UK stores and comes into effect on February 24. Home-compostable bags will continue to be available in store for 6p, giving shoppers a more sustainable option.

Money raised from the price increase will be reinvested in future packaging reduction initiatives.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi, said: "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.

"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 month, Aldi scrapped all plastic applicators from its own-brand tampons, saving 14 tonnes of plastic a year.

The supermarket, which has been carbon neutral since January 2019, is also on track to have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022 and aims to reduce plastic packaging by 25 per cent by the end of 2023.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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