LONDON, Sept. 15, 2021 (Press Release) -
- Lidl GB announces plans to replace all single use plastic fruit and vegetable bags with a compostable alternative to replace 275 tonnes of conventional single use plastic
- Lidl will begin transitioning to the new bags from January 2022
- The discounter is launching new ‘soft plastic’ packaging collection trial from October in selected stores to enable customers to recycle more packaging.
- More than 80% of UK local councils do not collect soft plastics from homes for recycling
Lidl GB has today announced a series of new initiatives, as part of its REset Plastic strategy, to eliminate plastic waste and support the continued reduction and recyclability of plastics in its stores.
The discounter has confirmed plans to replace all single use fruit and vegetable plastic bags with compostable bags, giving Lidl customers the chance to make even more sustainable choices when shopping. This in-store change will result in the removal of 275 tonnes of conventional single use plastic. The new compostable bags are designed to be re-used as caddy liners for domestic food waste collections and are also suitable for home-composting, providing them with a longer life-cycle..
As well as the new compostable bags, Lidl is also launching a trial plastic bag and wrapping recycling scheme across 12 stores in the West Midlands, with a plan to expand the scheme nationwide if successful. The trial, which is due to be rolled out next month, will enable customers to return ‘soft plastic’ packaging easily that is not collected from homes by more than 80% of UK local authorities in the UK. These items, from any brand or retailer, include carrier bags, biscuit wrappers, crisp packets, bread bags, pet food pouches, plus much more. Compostable bags should be used for food waste and not placed in these collection points.
Customers will be able to return their soft plastic packaging at easily accessible drop-off points at the front of store. Lidl will then ensure that all eligible soft plastics will be recycled into products, such as refuse sacks and rigid construction products.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl GB we are committed to tackling excessive plastic waste and our compostable fruit and vegetable bags are the latest innovation to help limit the amount of plastic in our environment.
“As a bricks and mortar retailer, how we operate in our stores, and the packaging we use, plays such a vital role in helping customers to tackle their plastic consumption. By offering convenient solutions such as compostable bags and making it easier for customers to recycle more plastic through our in-store drop off points, we are hoping to give customers the opportunity to take small steps to reduce and recycle their plastic packaging.”
Helen Bird, Strategic Technical Manager, WRAP, said: “While we need to reduce single use packaging where possible, where it’s not, packaging must be recyclable and that’s what members of The UK Plastics Pact have pledged to do by 2025. It’s great news that Lidl is taking its responsibility seriously in this area and introducing collection points for bags and wrapping under The Pact. Our research showed that many citizens were willing to bring this material back to stores and we’re encouraged by the success of these collections to date.”
These initiatives build on Lidl’s plastic commitments to make 100% of own brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025. This year, Lidl hit its target of ensuring 50% of packaging is made from recycled materials, four years ahead of plan, whilst it also reduced plastic by 18.5%, on track to reach its original target to reduce by 20% by 2022. Lidl also met its target of eliminating problematic plastic packaging (including black plastic, PVC and EPS) from its own label core food range and ensuring that 100% of pulp and fibre-based own label packaging in core food range are either responsibly sourced from FSC, PEFC, or equivalent, or made using recycled content. Last month, Lidl announced that it had removed a milestone one billion pieces of plastic from stores across Great Britain, including 24 million plastic trays and punnets.
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 25,000 employees, over 860 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Lidl retail company, as part of the Schwarz retail group headquartered in Neckarsulm, is one of the leading companies in the food retail industry in Germany and Europe. Lidl is represented in 32 countries around the world and currently operates around 11,550 stores and more than 200 logistics centers and warehouses in 29 countries worldwide.
The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €125.3 billion in the financial year 2020.
About REset Plastic
The Schwarz Group with its two retail group companies, Lidl and Kaufland, is one of the biggest international retailers. It is aware of its responsibility towards the environment and takes it on. With REset Plastic, the Group has developed a holistic internationally applied strategy compromising five action areas: from avoidance and design to recycling and removal up to innovation and education. In doing so the vision of “less plastic- closed loops” will become reality.
The five guiding principles of the action areas of “REset Plastic – the plastics strategy of the Schwarz Group”:
Reduce - We reduce – wherever sustainably possible – plastic. Not only in packaging!
Redesign - We design recyclable packaging and close loops.
Recycle - We collect, sort and recycle plastic to close the loop.
Remove - We support the removal of plastic waste from the environment.
Research - We invest in research and the development of innovative solutions and educate onrecycling.
The Schwarz Group is also a proud technical partner of Project STOP (Stop Ocean Plastic). STOP is a leading initiative aimed at preventing plastic waste reaching the oceans and cooperates primarily with local communities in Indonesia in order to develop efficient waste management systems on the ground.