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Aldi Ireland to cut over 2,300 tonnes of cardboard boxes from its fresh meat and fish range

Supermarket also to introduce new energy saving chiller doors to all its stores

Aldi Ireland is removing all outer cardboard boxes from its fresh poultry, pork, beef, lamb and select fish lines. The move will mean over 2,300 tonnes less packaging will be used in Aldi stores each year, saving an equivalent of 4.2 million kg in carbon emissions each year.

Working with its Irish suppliers, Aldi’s fresh meat, fish, and poultry ranges will be transported to stores in reusable crates, eliminating the need for cardboard boxes on shelves. The crates will be cleaned and returned to the producer to be used repeatedly.

This is the latest improvement as part of Aldi’s long-term plastic and packaging reduction programme, which is working to reduce plastic packaging on all Aldi products by 50% by 2025, and to ensure 100% of Aldi’s own-label packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of next year. Since introducing the programme, Aldi has removed more than 2,150 tonnes of virgin plastic from its 147 Irish stores in addition to replacing almost 930 tonnes of non-recyclable material with recyclable alternatives.

The announcement comes as Aldi is also set to introduce new energy-saving chiller doors to its new and newly refurbished stores. The move will reduce each store’s energy consumption by approximately 20%, equivalent to a carbon emissions saving of up to 20 tonnes per store each year.

Commenting, John Curtin, Aldi Group Buying Director, said: “The new reduced packaging and energy initiatives announced today highlight the importance of not just making our products more eco-friendly, but also the way we present and transport them in stores. We are looking at every aspect of our supply chain to find packaging and energy savings and to make sure when shopping at Aldi it’s as green as possible.

Over the past year, Aldi has made huge progress towards achieving its targets to reduce and remove the amount of packaging used across its stores. Successes include:

  • Becoming the first supermarket to introduce full compostable steak trays, cutting 67 tonnes of plastic annually;
  • Becoming the first supermarket in Ireland to fully remove single-use plastic straws, replacing them with recyclable paper straws, cutting more than 4.5 million plastic straws annually;
  • Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recyclable packaging across own-brand White Family Pan and 100% Wholemeal Sliced Pan, removing over 18 tonnes of plastic;
  • Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recycled PET water bottles to its own-label water ranges, removing more than 30 million non-recyclable water bottles each year;
  • Becoming the first retailer in Ireland to fully remove all black plastic from its core food ranges.