Aldi, a German family owned discount supermarket chain, has started selling cabbages and cauliflowers without plastic packaging as part of a trial in Scotland.
Aldi said that the present initiative follows its decision to phase out black plastic trays on fresh produce lines and replacing them with easier-to-recycle products in the past.
The present initiative is a six week trial on five vegetable lines namely savoy cabbage, red cabbage, white cabbage, pointed cabbage and cauliflower sold in the Aldi stores without being packed in plastic wrap.
Aldi UK managing director of corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek said: “We’re working hard to reduce plastic, but we also need to ensure that reducing packaging doesn’t lead to unnecessary food waste. We’re hoping the outcome of this trial will be positive and something that we can roll out across the rest of the UK.”
The company estimates the six-week trial to save a half ton of plastic. Aldi said that it could remove more than 110tons of plastic wrapping a year from its fresh produce lines, if opted to continue the scheme.
The UK discounter claims that it has been becoming more eco-friendly and has replaced more than 2,500tons of plastic across its range with recyclable alternatives.
It aims to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging across its own-brand products by 2022.
Iceland has introduced a loose fresh produce aisle with 35 packaging-free fruit and veg lines at a Food Warehouse branch in north Liverpool last month, following which, Aldi has started the plastic free vegetables trial in Scotland.
In December 2018, Aldi has introduced fully recyclable pizza discs across its range to ensure 100% recyclable own-label product packaging by 2022.
The company has manufactured the discs out of cardboard instead of polystyrene and is expected to save approximately 180tons of plastic from circulation, and the switchover will result in nearly 500 fewer trucks a year to transport the waste.
Aldi said that it is reducing the size of its ‘Thin & Crispy’ pizza cartons without reducing the size of the pizza, to reduce the amount of cardboard by 73tons a year.