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.
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.
Available depending on the store and the country – up to seven options for transporting groceries home. Here are the latest models:
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.
Health is a hot topic in the Netherlands, where discussion centres on childhood and teenage obesity, among other concerns. With a strong partner at our side, we are tackling this issue.
For many products, packaging is essential for protection and quality assurance. That is why we focus on recyclable materials and, in some cases, on multiple-use systems.
We are committed to reducing the impact of our business operations on the climate. Back in 2015, we specified in our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy that we aim to act in a climate friendly manner.
We take responsibility for the protection of our environment and its natural resources. As a retailer, reducing waste and dedicating ourselves to fighting food losses play a central role.
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.
This Interim Report 2018 and the Update 2018 also serve as Communication on Progress (COP)/Progress Report of the ALDI Nord Group within the framework of the United Nations Global Compact.