Netherlands: fighting plastic soup
Across the world, around one whole truckload of plastic is dumped into the oceans every minute – that ends up being some eight million kilos of plastic a year. Through UV radiation and waves, the plastic is ground into little particles that are steadily turning our oceans into a plastic soup. The Plastic Soup Foundation in the Netherlands has made it their goal to stop this development through information campaigns, educational efforts and innovative solutions. We are on board!
Helping fight the global problem of plastic waste – that was what we had in mind when we decided in 2017 to discontinue the disposable plastic bag at ALDI North. These bags will steadily disappear from our stores by the end of 2018. The switch to our new reusable shopping bag is currently under way. As it will take some time before the plastic bags have been withdrawn entirely, the price for disposable shopping bags in the Netherlands has been raised in the meantime from 15 to 25 cents. The majority of the additional proceeds will be donated to the Plastic Soup Foundation.
“We want future generations to live in a clean and healthy environment. The Plastic Soup Foundation’s new educational programme teaches children in a playful way how important it is to protect our seas and oceans.”
Manager Corporate Responsibility in the Netherlands
The foundation used the money to introduce a new free educational programme for primary schools in 2018. The programme is based on a Plastic Soup Box that contains exciting teaching materials about plastic waste. The schools also receive a special issue of the children’s magazine Kidsweek and access to an online platform with digital lessons, videos and games. Through the new educational programme, the Plastic Soup Foundation aims to inform ten thousand children about the problem of plastic waste.
Most pieces of clothing that our customers find in the stores have made a long journey to get there. The travels of our baby bodysuit start in India
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.
The trust of our customers is our most valuable asset. That is why we listen carefully to what they want. For more than 100 years, we have consistently and systematically tailored our products and services towards the demands of our customers.
Every year, consumers make 1.2 billion purchases at our stores. Our goal is to promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle – and make it possible for a broad section of society to engage in affordable, responsible consumption.
“The highest quality – the lowest prices”: in order to keep this promise, all ALDI North products undergo tough quality checks. For employees in Quality Assurance, it is a demanding job.
The dialogue with our stakeholders provides us with valuable insights for our CR efforts. We are in contact with customers, employees, NGOs, initiatives, associations, suppliers, business partners, works councils and unions.
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.
This is the ALDI North Group’s second comprehensive Sustainability Report. It serves to provide our stakeholders with transparent information about our material social, environmental and economic goals and measures.