Aldi has revealed that it will be trialling its first collection facilities for soft plastics in select stores in the North of England and East Midlands, with a view to helping customers recycle “problem materials”.
The supermarket will provide collection bins at 20 of its stores across Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester, where customers can deposit clean, soft plastic packaging.
As the vast majority of UK local authorities do not currently collect soft plastics, the collection bins will mean that customers can return all types of materials including crisp packets, salad bags, bread bags and carrier bags, regardless of where the items were purchased.
If the trial is successful, the collection bins will be rolled out across all of Aldi’s more than 900 UK stores, to provide shoppers with an option to recycle their soft plastics.
The trial is the latest move to reduce plastic waste by the retailer, which is also working towards having 100% of its own-label packaging be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2022.
Richard Gorman, plastics and packaging director at Aldi UK, said: “Our latest trial is another step in the right direction, as we work towards being able to offer shoppers an option to bring back to our stores problem plastic that might not be recycled by their local councils.
“We will be monitoring the trial closely, and we hope that customers utilise our collection bins so that we can look at expanding this into more stores.”
Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), added: “While plastic bags and wrapping makes up around a fifth of consumer plastic packaging, only 6% of it is recycled.
“In future years local authorities will collect this material for recycling, but in the meantime supermarkets are able to provide recycling points for plastic bags and wrapping to the many citizens who want to recycle all that they can. It’s great to see Aldi trialling how this can be achieved.”