Ahead of Earth Day 2021, Aldi has shared five insider tips to help people shop more sustainably.
From finding ways to reduce the need for plastic packaging, to minimising food waste and supporting British suppliers, there’s plenty of smalls steps that can help to make your shop more sustainable.
Mary Dunn, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “Making simple changes to your shopping habits can go a long way to reducing the environmental impact of your weekly shop. We’re always looking for new ways to make it easier for customers to shop sustainably at Aldi, while also pushing ourselves in equal measure to be greener every day.
1. Cut down on plastic packaging
Choosing loose fruit and vegetables instead of multipacks could make a big difference to the amount of plastic packaging needed, and the same goes for other types of products where additional plastic is used for multipacks.
Aldi is committed to eliminating plastic wherever possible as it works towards its target of halving the amount of plastic packaging used by the end of 2025. Recent initiatives include 100% plastic-free packaging on a range of Easter products, the removal of plastic straws from all of its own-label drinks cartons, and the elimination of plastic shrink-wrap on its own-label multipack soft drink cans.
Just last week, Aldi also launched a trial selling its first packaging-free products to help customers shop more sustainably, including household staples like rice and pasta. If successful, Aldi will look to develop its refillable options in other stores in future.
2. Don’t forget to recycle
If an item requires plastic packaging to stay fresh, try to choose products with recyclable packaging instead where possible.
When it comes to recycling, empty and rinse any residual food waste on items you wish to recycle, and squash items down in your recycling bin to fit more into each collection. Aldi uses industry standard labelling on all products to advise you how to recycle our packaging.
It’s also important to know about what can be recycled in your local authority. Not-for-profit organisation WRAP has a handy guide on their website to help you do just that.
On top of its plastic-reduction pledges, Aldi has already made 92% of its own label packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, with a pledge to get to 100% by 2022, and across all branded products by 2025.
3. Buy British
Food miles can really add up, so always consider buying products from British sources to cut the need for imports and reduce the carbon footprint of your weekly shop. This is made easy at Aldi with its entire core range of fresh meat, milk, indigenous cheeses and shell eggs coming from British, Red Tractor-approved farms.
Another easy step to consider is shopping seasonally for your British fruit and vegetables, as this ensures they meet the UK’s high standards for sustainable farming.
Back in 2015, Aldi signed up to the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Back British Farming Charter. This supports British farming and makes the country a more food secure nation by not relying on imports.
4. Tackle food waste
It pays to be organised with your weekly shop – saving you time in the aisles and reducing any food waste by buying unnecessary items. To avoid this, make a shopping list and plan your food shop for the whole week to ensure you only get what you need.
Knowing your date labels is also key to preventing good food from being thrown away. Remember, a ‘Use By’ date on a product is there for food safety reasons, meaning you can eat food right up to the date, but not after unless you freeze it. ‘Best Before’, on the other hand, is about quality. While food should be safe to eat after the date, it may no longer be at its best.
As part of Aldi’s pledge to reduce its own food waste by 20% by 2025, and 50% by 2030, Aldi is undertaking a variety of initiatives, including its surplus food donation programme in partnership with Neighbourly, and a collaboration with The Company Shop Group to help its suppliers to reduce their waste.
5. Go green
When it comes to shopping more sustainably, it’s not just about how you shop, but where you shop too.
There are lots of ways your supermarket can improve its green credentials, so keep an eye on what they’re up to alongside your own efforts.
Aldi is continuously working to be greener every day. The supermarket has been carbon neutral since 2019, is powered by 100% renewable electricity and has solar panels on over 400 of its UK stores and all 11 regional distribution centres.
Aldi is also certified to the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard, working to continually improve energy efficiency by making improvements to its use of lighting, refrigeration, heating, and also transport.
Aldi has also committed to Net Zero Carbon across its operations and supply chain by 2040.
Aldi has committed to remove single-use plastic from all its own-brand tea bags by the end of 2021.