Aldi trials reusable fresh produce bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles

Reusable bags will be displayed in a dedicated stand, which is also 100% recyclable and made from 30% recycled material

Reusable bags costing just €0.49 per bag, can be bought at 10 Aldi stores, with an initial four-week trial period

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11 August 2020 | 0

Aldi Ireland is currently trialling reusable fresh produce bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles at 10 of its stores across Ireland. Since 10 August, customers at participating stores can purchase the reusable bags designed to hold fresh fruit and vegetables for just €0.49 per bag.

Sturdy, breathable and washable, the mesh drawstring bags are ideal for buying, carrying and storing fresh fruit and vegetables, including heavy or bulky items. Each bag purchased will benefit the environment in a tangible way, helping to keep more plastic bottles out of landfill and further reducing people’s need for single-use plastic bags. Aldi is already in the process of removing 10 million single-use produce bags from circulation throughout its store network, replacing these with domestically compostable bags made from pasted corn starch.

The reusable bags will be displayed in-store using a dedicated stand, which is also 100% recyclable and made from 30% recycled material. These cardboard stands will be placed next to the produce sections of participating stores, making it easier for customers to see when shopping in the fresh fruit and vegetable aisles.

Aldi has been working over the last few years to supply a larger range of loose fruit and vegetables in-store. There are now 27 lines of loose fruit and veg in-store, an increase of 29% from 2017.

This move is the latest step towards Aldi’s overall plastic reduction programme, which aims to reduce plastic packaging by 50% by 2025 and have 50% of plastic packaging to be made of recycled content by 2025. So far, Aldi has removed over 600 tonnes of plastic from its Core range.

The introduction of the trial comes as customer demand for fresh produce continues to prevail as customers seek out healthier lifestyles and rediscover home cooking, especially in recent months. For example, since mid-March when lockdown began, sales of fresh vegetables increased by 8.4%, with the most produce bought in May at 18.8 million units, underscoring the trend for home-cooking from scratch. A total of 68 million units of fresh fruit and veg have been sold over lockdown to date, some 4.8 million units more than the same period last year, an increase of almost 8%.

“In the last year, we have completely overhauled Aldi’s range of shopping bags to introduce eco-friendly options that are compostable, reusable and recyclable where possible,” said John Curtin, Aldi group buying director. “We’re excited to be adding reusable fresh produce bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles to select stores on a trial basis, as customers increasingly shop for loose fruit and vegetables on a need’s basis. It’s all part of Aldi’s ongoing work towards our goal of reducing plastic packaging by 50% by 2025 and we’re hopeful that customers will respond positively to the move.”

The trial runs for an initial four-week period across the following Aldi stores: Ardkeen, Carrick-on-Suir, Castlebar, Castleisland, Dungarvan, Dunmanway, Castletroy, Nenagh, Portumna and Wilton.

To date, Aldi has implemented a series of changes across its product offering with a major focus on the removal of plastic. This includes introducing compostable and recyclable packaging in its fresh herb range, replacing black plastic trays with cardboard trays in its Specially Selected tomato range, moving all 1ltr fresh Irish milk to fully renewable and plant-based packaging and introducing three new environmentally friendly bag options in its stores, saving the use of 12.5 million plastic bags annually.

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