Disposing with disposables

It is an icon and has even made its way into a museum – the ALDI North plastic shopping bag. However, due to floating islands of plastic in the oceans, beaches littered with refuse and microplastics in our environment, it is clear that the disposable bag has finally outlived its usefulness. 

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We have been offering bags to our customers for more than 100 years so they can safely transport their groceries home. In the first decades of our company’s history, these bags were still made of paper. But with the general advance of plastic in the 1960s, we introduced our plastic bag with the famous blue-and-white design. The design soon became iconic and even made it into an exhibition in Ingolstadt’s “Museum für Konkrete Kunst” in 2016. No matter where you look, you are sure to find the plastic bag. This has been the case now for more than 40 years – until today. Due to the environmental problems caused by plastic and plastic bags, it is high time for a new iconic object on our streets: the ALDI North reusable shopping bag. The same proven design, but better for the environment.

Our new reusable shopping bag: it can hold a lot

ALDI North is calling it quits with disposables, which spells the end for all conventional disposable shopping bags available at the cash register. We have gradually been eliminating them in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands since the end of 2017. In place of the plastic bag, the stores now offer an environmentally friendly alternative: the durable, reusable shopping bag, which is made from more than 80 per cent recycled materials. It is produced in Germany and features the recognised Blue Angel ecolabel. The reusable bag is also larger and stabler than the disposable version. Incidentally, we consciously decided against using disposable paper bags, as their production is a water- and energy-intensive process.

Our bags

Available depending on the store and the country – up to seven options for transporting groceries home. Here are the latest models:

• Long-life shopping bags made from plastics
Long-life shopping bags made from plastics from used PET bottles (R-PET) that have been collected
Reusable shopping bag
Reusable shopping bags made from at least 80 per cent recycled plastics and featuring the Blue Angel ecolabel
Bags made from natural jute
Bags made from natural jute, laminated on the inside with polypropylene
Shopping bag made from GOTS- and Fairtrade-certified cotton
Shopping bag made from GOTS- and Fairtrade-certified cotton
Colourful shopping bag made from polypropylene plastic
Colourful shopping bag made from polypropylene plastic

So long, plastic!

We are gradually rolling out the new reusable shopping bag at the stores in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. At the same time, all disposable bags are being eliminated from the range at those stores. The changeover is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. To encourage the use of the environmentally friendly reusable bags already during the changeover process, we have increased the price of disposable bags, for example by 10 cents in Germany and by 15 cents in the Netherlands. The (additional) revenue from the sale of disposable bags is earmarked for helping environmental and social projects.

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It all started in 1913 with a small food store in Essen-Schonnebeck. Today, customers can turn to 2,249 ALDI North stores in the ALDI North sales region. One of our focal points in Germany is improving animal welfare.

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Climate change concerns everyone, so doing our part to protect the climate is a matter of course to us. A great deal is happening at our stores, because they are where we will be able to save the most CO2.

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Climate Protection

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