Lidl becomes the first retailer in Ireland to launch Prevented Ocean Plastic (POP) packaging
Initiative will prevent almost 19 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean per year – the equivalent of almost 750,000 plastic water bottles
5 July 2022 | 0
Lidl has become the first retailer in Ireland to announce the launch of Prevented Ocean Plastic (POP) fresh food packaging using “ocean bound plastic”*, plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean and that is now recycled and reintroduced into its packaging.
Working in collaboration with its Irish supplier, Keohane Seafoods, Lidl has moved five fresh fish products into this innovative new packaging with products including: Salmon Darnes (two-pack and four-pack), Skinless Salmon Darnes, King Prawns and Cod Fillets. Customers can see this new packaging in store now with a full rollout expected to be completed by the end of July.
This latest packaging initiative forms part of Lidl’s overall commitment to ensure 50% of packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025.
Cáit Lynch, responsible sourcing manager at Lidl Ireland, said its goal was to reassure customers that by shopping with Lidl, they are selecting responsibly sourced products.
“From removing plastic pollution to protecting fish stocks, we’re committed to making a difference,” Lynch said, adding that the group was proud to be the first retailer in Ireland to introduce ocean bound plastic into the retail market.
Between 80 and 90% of the plastic packaging that reaches the ocean, enters from coastlines in developing regions such as Southeast Asia and this initiative will prevent almost 19 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean per year – the equivalent of almost 750,000 plastic water bottles. As well as having clear environmental benefits, the use of POP also has societal benefits. The collection of these bottles equates to approximately a years’ worth (374 days) of well-paid work for an average bottle collector in predominantly poor coastal regions across Southeast Asia.
In another first, Lidl is set to become the first retailer in Ireland to carry products with the GGN label. The consumer label will feature on seven Keohane Seafoods fresh salmon lines.
The GGN label stands for certified, responsible farming and transparency, and offers consumers consistent and relevant assurance about the responsible farming of these products. All products bearing the label come from farms with production processes that are independently certified according to the strict criteria of GLOBALG.A.P. standards. This confirms that they were produced in line with responsible farming practices that cover food safety, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, traceability, and workers’ well-being.
Accompanying the logo on product packaging is a unique 13-digit identification number that can be entered into the GGN label portal to trace the origins of the product. Speaking on the addition of the GGN label to the product range.
“The addition of the GGN label onto these fresh fish products for the first time in Ireland is also an important step in offering enhanced product transparency to our customers,” said Anna Ferguson, senior buyer, Lidl Ireland.
Since beginning its partnership with Lidl over 11 years ago, Keohane Seafoods has become one of Ireland’s largest quality seafood processors and now employs a workforce of more than 220 employees.
Keohane’s, which signed a €20 million deal with Lidl earlier this year. has been involved in Lidl’s Supplier Engagement Programme and was awarded Lidl Packaging Reduction Supplier of the Year in 2021 for its efforts in reducing the plastic packaging of Lidl’s own brand products.
An investment into new packaging machinery in 2021 made it possible to reduce the size of 11 of Lidl’s own brand fresh fish trays. The weight of the trays has been reduced by 21%. Equating to a removal of 28 tonnes of plastic from Lidl’s supply chain annually. This is the weight equivalent of seventeen cars (the weight of a car is about 1.7 tonnes.)
The packaging reduction, ocean bound plastic packaging solution and GNN certification have been developed as part of Lidl’s Supplier Engagement Programme which is now in its second year. This programme is a five-year long term collaboration plan.
Keohane Seafoods also supplies three salmon items with this new POP packaging to two Lidl Great Britain regional distribution centres.
“All our seafood is sourced from responsibly managed fisheries and farms,” said Colman Keohane, managing director of Keohane Seafoods.
“And with the support from the team at Lidl through our involvement in the Lidl Supplier Engagement Programme, we have been actively innovating to reduce the environmental impact of the range from reducing pack sizes to now launching ocean bound plastic packaging. We’re so proud to play our part in providing Irish consumers with responsibly sourced fish in innovative packaging that includes recycled ocean bound plastic – a first in the Irish retail market and look forward to commencing future collaboration with Lidl to further reduce environmental impact of the range.”