Melton supermarket trials major new ‘green’ initiative

The Aldi store on Leicester Road, Melton EMN-200215-113353001
The Aldi store on Leicester Road, Melton EMN-200215-113353001
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A Melton supermarket is taking part in a trial to scrap single-use plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables in a bid to become more environmentally-friendly.

The Aldi store, on Leicester Road, will instead offer customers reusable drawstring bags for 25p and encourage them to use them again on return visits or bring their own bags.

The aim is to reduce the volume of plastic bags being sold - the new drawstring bags, which are made from recycled bottles, would provide a sustainable alternative.

The Melton store is one of 100 Aldi supermarkets in the midlands taking part in the trial.

It is hoped, if successful, that the scheme will be rolled out to all of its stores, with the effect of removing around 109 tonnes of plastic from circulation every year.

Aldi is also raising the price of its flexi-loop ‘bags for life’ from 9p to 15p to encourage their reuse.

This will happen across all UK stores and from Monday February 24, with home-compostable bags continuing to be available in store for 6p to give shoppers a more sustainable option.

Money raised from the price increase will be reinvested in future packaging reduction initiatives, the company says.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi, said: “We are determined to drastically cut single-use plastic, and evolving our approach to the sale and distribution of bags is an important step forward.

“We’ve charged for carrier bags since opening our first UK store in 1990, so our shoppers are already in the habit of reusing them, but these steps will hopefully help people switch to entirely reusable alternatives.”

Last month, Aldi scrapped all plastic applicators from its own-brand tampons, saving 14 tonnes of plastic a year.

The supermarket, which has been carbon neutral since January 2019, says it is also on track to have all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022 and aims to reduce plastic packaging by 25 per cent by the following year.