ALDI Australia’s commitments to reduce plastics and packaging
With over 3.5 million tonnes of plastics consumed in Australia each year*, as a major Australian retailer it’s crucial we step up and take responsibility for our impact.
We’ve led the way on initiatives such as never providing free-of-charge plastic carrier bags, saving an estimated 8.6 billion plastic bags from entering the environment. Since 2001, we have utilised reusable crates across our produce range, saving more than 18 million cardboard cartons annually. We have also removed microbeads from our entire beauty range. In 2020, we swapped out single-use plastic tableware from our range, saving 322 tonnes of plastic from landfill each year and replaced plastic stemmed cotton buds with a paper-stemmed version, avoiding over 357 million plastic stems from ending up in landfill each year. In December 2021, we became the first supermarket to begin replacing plastic straws on drink cartons with a paper version. In 2022, we will have rolled out the new paper straws across our entire range of beverage cartons, resulting in the removal of more than 40 million plastic straws each year
ANZPAC Plastics Pact
ALDI is a founding member of the ANZPAC Plastics Pact, an agreement that brings together industry stakeholders to take action in creating a circular economy for plastics. Alongside the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), ALDI will lead the way in further implementing solutions to eliminate unnecessary plastics and improve the recyclability and reusability of plastic packaging.
Australian Dairy Sustainable Packaging Roadmap
ALDI has endorsed the Australian Dairy Sustainable Packaging Roadmap, a joint initiative between the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Dairy Australia and Australian Dairy Products Federation Inc. to drive packaging sustainability in Australia’s dairy supply chain. The Roadmap includes a range of strategic actions the industry can take to contribute to key packaging targets and outcomes by 2025.
25by25: ALDI Australia’s plastics and packaging commitments
To continue our leadership, we have nine commitments in place to reduce plastics and packaging across our product range. This includes our overall aim to reduce plastic packaging across our own-branded products by 25% by 2025.
Since announcing these commitments in 2019, we have achieved a reduction of plastic packaging of 11%, which has collectively removed almost 4,000 tonnes of plastic from our product packaging. This includes having successfully removed 18% of plastic across our fresh produce range, a category which remains a key focus for the business.
Down 25% by 2025
Commitment: By the end of 2025, we aim to reduce plastic packaging by 25% (2019 baseline).
Status at the end of 2021: On track. We have reduced plastic packaging by 11%.
Commitment: We will actively reduce the amount of plastic packaging in our fresh produce range and transition to more sustainable alternatives where possible, providing no increase in food waste.
Status at the end of 2021: On track. We've removed 18% of plastic packaging across our fresh produce range.
Goodbye single-use plastics
Commitment: We will phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics by the end of 2020. These include plastic straws, plastic disposable tableware and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Beyond 2020, we will prioritise the phase out of EPS packaging and PVC packaging labels.
Status at the end of 2021: We have achieved a reduction of 50%, with this commitment set to be achieved mid-2022, when we rollout paper straws across.
Green is the new black
Commitment: We will prioritise the reduction or replacement of difficult to recycle black plastic packaging.
Status at the end of 2021: We have removed 51% of black plastic packaging across our range.
100% for the earth
Commitment: The packaging of our exclusive brands will be reformulated to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2025.
Status at the end of 2021: On track. 84% of our plastic packaging is now recyclable, reusable or compostable.
Commitment: By the end of 2020, all paper and pulp-based packaging in our everyday range will be FSC, PEFC or 70% recycled.
Status at the end of 2021: On track. 100% of paper and pulp-based packaging in our everyday range is FSC, PEFC or 70% recycled.
Giving new purpose
Commitment: We will aim to stimulate an Australian circular economy by committing to an average of 50% recycled materials across all of our packaging by the end of 2025. Specifically for plastic packaging, we aim to achieve an average of 30% recycled materials.
Status at the end of 2021: On track. We’re almost over half of the way there having achieved an average of 28%** in packaging.
**In FY 2021, ALDI amended the recycled content goal from 30% to 50%, to include all packaging material types, not just plastic.
Commitment: We will use the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on ALDI branded products by the end of 2022 and we will further educate customers on the importance of packaging waste reduction (reduce, reuse, recycle).
Status at the end of 2021: On track. The ARL is displayed on more than 76% of ALDI branded products.
Loud and proud to the crowd
Commitment: We will publicly report against all of these goals annually.
Status at the end of 2021: On track. We have published since 2019.
Reporting on our progress
Our latest Plastic and Packaging progress update can be read here. Our 2021 update outlines the steps we have taken over the past year to reduce our plastics and packaging, ensuring that we remain transparent.
These commitments are part of our ongoing plan to reduce our environmental footprint. But we can’t do it without you. Whether it’s bringing your own bags to the shops or looking for the ARL logo on packaging for guidance on recycling correctly, everyone has a part to play. Together we can make a good difference to the earth.
*Australian Plastics Recycling Survey (2018-2019) page 1