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.

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 four per cent, which has collectively removed almost 2,000 tonnes of plastic from our product packaging. This includes having successfully removed 10% 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 2020: On track. We have reduced plastic packaging by 4%.

Fresher packaging

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 2020: On track. We've removed 10% 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 2020: Behind schedule. We have achieved a reduction of 36% having removed plastic disposable tableware and plastic-stemmed cotton buds but still have straws to go.

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 2020: We have removed 54% 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 2020: On track. 84% of our plastic packaging is now recyclable, reusable or compostable.
 

Backing paper

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 2020: Behind schedule.  At 94% we still have a small way to go to get there. 

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 2020: On track. We’re almost a third of the way there having achieved an average of 9% in plastic packaging.

Clear solutions

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 2020: On track. The ARL is displayed on more than 65% of ALDI branded products. 

Loud and proud to the crowd

Commitment: We will publicly report against all of these goals from annualy. 

Status at the end of 2020: On track. We have published a 2019 and 2020 report. 
 

Reporting on our progress

Our latest Plastic and Packaging progress update can be read here​​​​​​​. Our 2020 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