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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.

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Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are working in partnership with Plastic Bank to create a new collection point in the Philippines, which will start operating in the next few months. The union will help Plastic Bank to establish collection points for plastic waste in countries that have poor waste management infrastructure.

Erik Hollmann, head of corporate responsibility at Aldi Nord said, “We are pleased to be part of this project as Germany’s first food retailer and to be able to support the local people.” This is part of the Aldi Packaging Mission that it launched, with clear goals including reducing packaging volume. This includes acting towards the principle of “avoid, reuse, recycle.”

Social benefits

David Katz, founder of Plastic Bank describes the guiding principle of the start-up as “a bank that takes plastic”. By taking packaging waste to a collection point you can earn money or receive social benefits such as medical care, food or mobile phones; and the waste is diverted from entering oceans and water systems.

Expanding the existing operation

The waste materials can then be sorted and processed as appropriate to enter the recycling value chain. Plastic Bank has collected 4,000 tonnes of plastic waste from 26 collection points so far.

Plastic Bank has been operating in the Philippines since 2016, and there is already one collection point in place there. The partnership with Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd means an additional station will be built, with funding in place for an initial two-year period.

Aldi has opened a £50 million distribution centre on the Isle of Sheppey.

The warehouse will be the tenth distribution centre in the UK and will have a footprint 645,834 sq. ft. It will support store operations in the south-east by delivering to around 60 stores.  The south-east has been identified by Aldi as an area for potential growth in coming years.

Supporting expansion

Ben Shotter, Aldi’s Managing Director for the RDC at the Isle of Sheppey said, “The new Sheppey distribution centre significantly increases our capacity and allows us to open more stores across the south-east to cater for the growing number of shoppers switching to Aldi.”

Aldi plans to open 130 stores during 2019 and 2020, taking the total number of stores to 957.  This is in line with the retailers plans to open 1200 stores in the UK by 2025. 

A new home delivery service is to start in London, delivering groceries from Aldi stores. Home Run takes orders online, and uses personal shoppers to go into stores to pick the goods. The company then offers delivery to addresses in central London within 2 hours.

Last mile couriers

Home Run already fulfils orders from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, but it charges a premium on some product prices compared to the store, as well as adding on a delivery charge. Orders are delivered by couriers using car or scooter, and says the scooter drivers are “equipped with the biggest boxes that can be safely carried”.

Personal shopping across the pond

Personal shopper services are not widely used in the UK, but in the US they form a major part of the home delivery sector, especially to achieve express deliveries.

Walmart’s same-day delivery plans

To emphasise this, Walmart has announced the expansion of its partnership with Instacart offering same-day delivery from Sam’s Club stores. This partnership started in February 2018 and is now being rolled out to more than 350 clubs by the end of Oct, over half of the estate.

Partnering with Instacart

Instacart is a major “marketplace” operation in North America, and as it has more formalised partnerships with retailers, it has been able to offer shoppers the same prices as they would see in-store. It focuses on rapid (under two hour) deliveries in certain densely-populated areas, largely depending on independent contractors to shop and deliver.


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