Supermarket chain Lidl has said that it will scrap black plastic packaging from its entire fruit and vegetable range due to recycling issues.
Lidl will discontinue packaging for fruit and veg products in all stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
As per the plans, the retailer seeks to scrap unrecyclable packaging from its fresh fish products by February 2019, followed by fresh meat, poultry and cured meat ranges before August.
The company’s move will result in preventing more than 65 tons of black plastic waste annually from fruit and vegetables alone.
Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland managing director J.P. Scally said: “Sustainability is core to our business and we are proud to continue leading the retail sector in implementing ambitious measures which will deliver real and lasting benefits for everyone.”
The company has also banned the sale of single use plastic items such as drinking straws and disposable plates, cups and cutlery off its shelves.
Earlier this year, the company achieved zero waste to landfill and imposed a ban on microbeads in entire cosmetic and household ranges.
The retailer also published various plastic reduction targets, which include using 20% less plastic packaging by 2022 and having 100% recyclable own-brand packaging by 2025.
Lidl is set to trial more upackaged fruit and vegetable options as over 25% of its fresh produce range is now packaging-free.
Scally said: “These announcements are a clear signal of our commitment to safeguarding the environment and to managing our operations in the most progressive and sustainable way possible. It’s important and right that we act decisively and proactively in this area and take meaningful and measurable steps that matter to us, our customers and our communities.”
Majority of the UK’s largest retailers are focusing their efforts on the removal of plastics from their supply chain.
Waitrose & Partners committed to remove loose fruit and vegetable plastic bags by spring 2019 and 5p single use plastic carrier bags by March next year in all shops.