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ALDI….Making Strides in Sustainability

Groundswell’s Jamie Durie reports on how suppliers, retailers and customers have to collaborate and transition together, to bring about environmental, economic and social change to tackle the climate crisis.

There’s no doubt that the climate crisis is systemic, and that meaningful change has to happen on every level of society across the globe. Reducing our reliance on plastic packaging is on everyone’s agenda including our local supermarket.  The impact of single-use plastic on our environment has been catastrophic, so it is heartening to see brands like ALDI rising to the challenge and making strides to be more environmentally responsible and sustainable in their packaging policy moving forward.

While a lot of plastic waste is generated by the retail industry, ALDI are making a difference by finding solutions and at a grass roots level, individual customers need to become more aware of the problem and be willing to transition to better habits that don’t rely on single-use plastic when they shop.  Another major habit shopper’s need to break is the problem of food wastage.  Changing the ‘weekly shopping’ mentality of stocking up in bulk and instead going back to the way past generations used to shop; only buying what they truly want and need every few days to minimise waste.

One of our key commitments is making sure that by 2025 all plastic packaging used on our products is  using recycled material. If we don’t create that demand for recycled content, we’re not going to see a use for all those materials that we’re saying can be recycled.  What we realise is important is making sure that we contribute to and start playing in the circular economy.

Daniel Baker, ALDI Australia Corporate Responsibility Director.

Daniel Baker, ALDI Australia’s Corporate Responsibility Director says, “One of our key commitments is making sure that by 2025 all plastic packaging used on our products is  using recycled material. If we don’t create that demand for recycled content, we’re not going to see a use for all those materials that we’re saying can be recycled.  What we realise is important is making sure that we contribute to and start playing in the circular economy.”

ALDI have products in what’s called the ‘Green Action’ range that are packaged in 100% recycled material.  They’ve also got an in-store battery recycling scheme that enables customers to bring back their household batteries so the materials can be reused to make new batteries or other products.  ALDI are also proud of the fact that they have never offered single-use plastic bags in their stores right from the very beginning when they first opened their stores in Australia and thereby saving over 40,000 tonnes of plastic going to landfill.

Suppliers, retailers and customers have to collaborate and transition together, to bring about environmental, economic and social change that needs to happen.  As awareness of problems grow, so too are the solutions.  We can all make a difference by changing our shopping habits and using our purchasing power as consumers to drive the retail industry to continue to innovate.