Gone are the trays: Aldi bans black plastic trays from fruit and veg
19 August 2019
Aldi Ireland has banned the use of non-detectable black plastic trays as packaging across its entire fruit and vegetables range, saving over 450 tonnes of non-recyclable waste annually.
The move forms part of a wider pledge to cut the use of plastic packaging across its product range by 25% over the next three years.
While non-detectable plastic trays can be put into the household recycling bin, they are difficult for waste operator machinery to detect, and so need to be sorted by hand.
Aldi’s Irish-grown Specially Selected Tomatoes range, supplied by Flynn’s Tomatoes, was the first line to undergo the packaging redesign this year, switching to cardboard. Aldi’s Specially Selected Parsnips and Specially Selected Avocados were the last lines to be moved out of this non-detectable black plastic tray.
Non-detectable black plastic trays, expanded polystyrene trays and PVC will all be removed from all Aldi own-brand product packaging by the end of 2020. Aldi’s fresh fish range has already undergone the redesign, with clear recyclable packaging trays introduced.
Aldi’s long-term plastics reduction programme has also seen it remove all single use carrier bags from its stores, repackage its cotton buds in cardboard and reduce the plastic content of bottled water lines from 17.5g to 12.1g microns. Combined, these initiatives have removed almost 225 tonnes of plastic each year from Aldi’s operations.
“Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to being a sustainable, responsible business,” said Aldi group buying director John Curtin. “We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact.”
Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak praised Aldi’s commitment to the environment through the reduction of packaging and difficult-to-recycle plastics in-store. “We welcome this move from Aldi and its other efforts to reduce waste and improve Ireland’s recycling rates,” Clancy said.