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Aldi has expanded its partnership with iForce, a company owned by Eddie Stobart, to back the future growth of its online platform for non-food products.

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The discount retailer is due to replace plastic bags with paper and biodegradable bags as part of a trial.

100% domestically compostable within a year

Aldi intends to ditch its plastic bags and replace them with paper and biodegradable bags. Starting from July, half of its stores will roll out paper bags whereas the other half will roll out compostable bags. According to Aldi, the paper bags are sourced from sustainably managed forests and strong enough to carry up to 11kg of groceries, while the compostable bags are designed to be 100 per cent domestically compostable within 12 months. The discount retailer believes the move can help eliminate up to 1,300 tonnes of plastic a year - the equivalent of 33.3 million carrier bags.

Source: Aldi

Frtiz Walleczek, Aldi’s managing director of corporate responsibility said about the initiative: “Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is fundamental to our commitment to being a sustainable and environmentally responsible business.” He adds: “This trial will identify the option which best suits our shoppers. Cutting waste is part of Aldi’s DNA and we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. This new trial is one of the biggest we have ever launched because we want our customers to be involved and help us make the right decision for them and the environment.”

25% less plastic packaging by 2023

In addition, Aldi has committed to reducing the usage of plastic packaging by 25% by 2023. It aims also to remove difficult-to-recycle packaging, including expanded polystyrene, PVC and non-detectable black plastic from its core food range by the end of 2020.

Other major retailers and manufacturers such as Walmart, Unilever, Keurig Dr Pepper and Sainsbury’s have also pledged recently to reduce the usage of plastic and increase the recyclability of their products’ packaging.

For more related content, please visit our Aldi and Resilient and responsive hubs.

In the aftermath of Earth Day 2019, we’ve brought together the latest initiatives undertaken by several supermarket chains in the US.

In this overview, we’ll look at Aldi’s efforts to introduce more hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) - free refrigeration systems in its stores, while Save Mart intends to run all its transport operations using 100% renewable drop-in diesel. We’ll also review how Albertsons aims to have the entirety of its own-brand product packaging recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable.

Aldi to introduce additional hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) – free refrigeration systems to its stores…

Aldi US has announced on Monday that it intends to supply 100 more stores with HFC – free refrigeration systems.

Aldi’s Vice President Aaron Sumida said: “Aldi is deeply committed to reducing its refrigerant emissions and believes natural refrigerants are the best long-term solution for the planet. To put this value into practice, Aldi has adopted transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in many of its new and remodelled stores and targets 100 more in 2019. We’re excited to continue to drive forward change with our commitment to hydrofluorocarbon reduction and adopting natural refrigeration systems.”

The push forms part of a new initiative launched by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) to identify US retailers that are chipping in to reduce the use of potent greenhouse gases in cooling systems.

In addition to Aldi, the EIA has identified Whole Foods Market, Target, Sprout Farmers Market and Ahold Delhaize USA as grocers pushing ahead with plans to implement energy efficiency in their refrigeration systems.

Brittni Furrow, Vice President of sustainable retailing for Ahold Delhaize USA said: “We are committed to limiting our climate footprint, including taking steps to reduce HFCs used in cooling. Our company's global target to lower the average global warming potential of refrigerants in stores to 2,230 by the year 2020 reflects this commitment. We also continue to look for opportunities to use climate-friendly cooling technologies like those already employed in one Food Lion and three Hannaford stores in the US.”

Meanwhile, Save Mart is going all-in for the 100% renewable drop-in diesel

The Save Mart Companies (TSMC) said it will run, by the end of April, all its transport operations on 100% renewable drop-in diesel produced by Neste MY Renewable Diesel.

It will be effectively the first grocer to fully convert to this type of fuel, which is fully composed of renewable raw materials. The move will help reduce traffic emissions and increase the share of renewable energy used in transport, Neste said.

In addition, this latest push will help eliminate emissions equal to what’s emitted by more than 5500 cars per year.

Bruce Christiansen, group Vice President of logistics and supply chain optimization at Save Mart, said: "The company understands its business activities impact the environment, and by investing in Neste MY Renewable Diesel, TSMC is reducing up to 80% of its emissions, improving local air quality and reducing our carbon footprint."

And finally, Albertsons unveils a plan that aims to reduce plastic waste in its own-branded product range

Albertsons goal is to make sure that 100% of its own-brand portfolio packaging is recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2025. Moreover, the plan aims to reduce the usage of single-use plastics, bring the share of recycled content into its own-brand plastic packaging to 20% and ultimately recycle its operational (non-consumer facing) plastics to be reused in new retail, industrial and/or consumer items.

In addition, the grocer aims to include clear recycling information on own-brand product packaging, including using QR codes. To achieve this, Albertsons has started collaborating with How2Recycle to improve the reliability, comprehensiveness and transparency of recyclability claims.

Furthermore, in order to support efforts to spread the use of sustainable packaging, the grocer intends to source and share best practices with other members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a collaborative of retailers, manufacturers, governments and educational institutions.

Geoff White, president of own brands at Albertsons said: “As we innovate and expand our own-brand lines, we always keep the overall impact of packaging in mind and seek out ways to improve sustainability for each and every product. Our suppliers are strong partners in this effort and, in many cases, are leading the charge on reducing, reusing and decreasing plastic content.”

Other grocers have already taken up sustainability initiatives, check it out here.

We’ve brought together the latest news and initiatives relating to recycling and sustainability. In this round-up, we’ll review how Tesco is planning to trial a new innovative system that converts plastic to oil, while Asda is set to launch a partnership that aims to increase the recyclability of baby food pouches. We’ll also look at Aldi’s pledge to develop fully sustainable packaging by 2025, while in Russia, Budweiser is launching the ReCup sports arena using recycled plastic bottles.

Tesco to trial an innovative system that converts soft plastics back into oil…

Tesco has sealed a deal with Swindon-based recycling firm Recycling Technologies which will allow it to trial a brand-new system that converts soft plastics back into oil. Waste plastic would initially be collected from 10 stores across Swindon and Bristol. Customers will be encouraged to bring items that are usually not collected by local authorities such as pet food pouches, carrier bags and crisp packets into specific collection points across the 10 stores in question. The collected waste will be then fed to Recycling Technologies machines where it will be converted to solid oil that can be used into the manufacturing of new plastic products.

This initiative is a part of Tesco’s aim to meet its UK Plastics Act commitment (100% recyclable, reusable or biodegradable plastic packaging by 2025). Tesco’s director of quality Sarah Bradbury said, “Reducing and recycling plastics is such an important issue for us, for customers and for the future of our planet. Our trial with Recycling Technologies will make even more of our packaging recyclable and help us reach our 2025 target. This technology could be the final piece of the jigsaw for the UK plastic recycling industry.”

Tesco has also been working recently to drive the creation of a closed loop system for plastics and offered reverse vending machines in support for a national deposit return scheme.

Asda, TerraCycle and Ella's Kitchen partnership to roll out baby food pouch recycling scheme…

Ella’s Kitchen has been working with TerraCycle since 2010 on a recycling solution for baby food pouches. Over 400 public drop-off points have been created so far in the UK for the pouches to be sent to TerraCycle for recycling. Aiming to double the number of pouches recycled by 2021, a six-month trial has been launched which will see Freepost envelopes (where up to 15 food pouches of any brand can be placed) provided at 37 Asda stores. The envelops are then posted to TerraCycle to be recycled into new items such as benches and fence posts.

Ella’s Kitchen’s head Mark Cuddigan said: “Our pouches are great in so many ways, they’re lightweight, convenient and they keep our yummy organic food tasty and safe for little ones. But our big challenge is that they are not currently accepted for recycling by local councils in the UK.

“We want to change this and that’s why we’re proud to have partnered with Asda to offer a new way for parents and carers to recycle all of their baby food pouches through our EllaCycle programme.”

At the same time, Aldi pledges fully sustainable packaging by 2025

Converting 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable materials by 2025: That is the goal Aldi has set itself. The retailer is also aiming to reduce packaging by 15% and add How2Recycle labels on all its Aldi-exclusive products. Traditionally, Aldi has long been active in plastic reduction, deliberately avoiding single-use shopping bags for over 40 years. It is also maintaining its Aldi Corporate Responsibility programme which enabled 250,000 tons of materials from its stores to be recycled last year.

And finally, Budweiser is using plastic bottles to create a coating for a new football pitch…

One of the official partners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Budweiser, has managed to collect and recycle more than 50,000 cups with the help of a local committee that were used to create a wear-resistant coating for a new football pitch for the Budweiser ReCup Arena in Sochi, Russia.

“The FIFA World Cup is a celebration for millions of fans not only in Russia, but around the world. Throughout the tournament, Budweiser surprised fans with its activations, gave them euphoric emotions, so we decided to create a unique facility – Budweiser ReCup Arena – specifically to extend this experience. Hopefully, this pitch will remind us of the past tournament and, probably, will help someone start a promising football career,” AB InBev’s Efes marketing director Konstantin Tamirov said.


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