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Aldi Ireland today announced that it is removing polystyrene trays from its multi-award winning range of Specially Selected Irish Pizzas, instead introducing cardboard trays. Arriving in stores this month, the new trays are fully recyclable and will lead to the removal of 3.5 tonnes of non-recyclable packaging each year.

This equates to over 400,000 non-recyclable polystyrene trays being removed from sale across Aldi’s 140 Irish stores, and therefore removed from customers’ household waste.

For the past six months Aldi has been working with its supplier Freshways Food Co., a Dublin-based company that has been supplying Aldi stores since 2015, to introduce the 100% recyclable packaging trays. The redesign means all the pizzas in Aldi’s Specially Selected Pizza range will have cardboard trays by January 31st, namely Aldi’s Spicy Salami Pizza, Meat Feast Pizza and Chicken Pesto Pizza.

The initiative is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to remove all expanded polystyrene trays, non-detectable black plastic trays, and PVC from all Aldi own-brand product packaging by the end of 2020.

Aldi is implementing a long-term plastic reduction programme throughout its 140 Irish stores, with the overall goal of reducing plastic packaging across its product range by 25% by the end of 2023. Aldi is also working to ensure that 100% of its own-label packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and aims to achieve a 50% reduction (relative to 2015 levels) in packaging across its own-label products by 2025.

To date, Aldi’s long-term plastics reduction programme has seen it remove non-detectable black plastic trays from its fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and beef ranges, repackage its Cotton Buds in cardboard, and introduce three new environmentally friendly bag options to its stores, saving the use of 12.5 million plastic bags annually.

Commenting, John Curtin, Aldi’s Group Buying Director said: “We are committed to reducing plastic and eliminating non-recyclable packaging across our own-label range. We’re doing this in collaboration with our suppliers in response to customer demand for greener alternatives, and our latest initiative gives Aldi customers more options to shop with us sustainably for the products they already know and love. We’re also delighted to be expanding our Specially Selected Pizza range with Freshways, one of 200 trusted Irish suppliers whose innovative approach to product development, and now packaging, supports the work we’re doing towards a more sustainable offering for Irish customers.”

Commenting, Freshways co-owner Diarmuid Shanahan said: “We are delighted to further grow our working relationship with Aldi and offer customers another premium Irish-made pizza that is second to none. Having another great product on Aldi shelves represents a significant win for our business.”

Freshways expands own-label pizza range for Aldi

Aldi also announced that Freshways Food Co. will be supplying stores with a new flavour in its Specially Selected Pizza range – Irish Oak Smoked Ham & 4 Cheese Pizza. The new addition, which will also feature a cardboard tray, is due to launch in May 2020.

For the past five years, Aldi has been working with Freshways which supplies Aldi under its Specially Selected premium own-brand range. The addition of the new pizza to Aldi’s core range is part of a partnership worth a €1.5 million per annum to Freshways.

Owned by Diarmuid Shanahan and Garrett Fitzgerald, Freshways Food Co. has been dedicated to producing great tasting fresh and chilled foods for almost 30 years. It is Ireland’s largest sandwich maker, having captured one third

of the Irish market, and is the leading supplier of branded and own-brand sandwiches to Irish retail including Aldi, food service and catering businesses. It employs almost 400 people at its Poppintree, Dublin 11 facility.

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