Aldi recently announced that in honor of Earth Month, it plans to be the first major retailer in the U.S. to remove all plastic shopping bags from its stores. Aldi US CEO Jason Hart stated in a press release that the grocer has already gotten rid of plastic bags in almost 500 stores, and plastic bags will be eliminated from all 2,200 U.S. Aldi locations by the end of 2023. It’s estimated this action will remove 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation annually.
The plastic bag announcement is a progress update that is part of a larger Corporate Responsibility commitment. In March of 2021, Aldi announced an eco-friendly vision that includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diverting operational waste out of landfills and reducing food waste, reducing packaging materials and changing all Aldi private label product packaging to reusable/recyclable/compostable, and expanding sustainable coffee sourcing while continuing to sustainably source seafood and cocoa.
The recent announcement about plastic bags is just one way Aldi is making strides toward being more sustainable. In 2021, Aldi was named the most sustainable grocery store in American by brightly.eco, and Hart states that Aldi is proud to lead the way toward more sustainable business practices.
In addition to phasing out plastic shopping bags, Aldi also recently shared other ways it’s made progress on eco-friendly goals during the past year:
- Aldi has reduced plastic and offers more recyclable packaging. More than 62% of Aldi private label packaging is now reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
- Aldi installed new rooftop solar panels for green energy, and solar panels are now in use on more than 120 stores and 12 distribution centers.
- Aldi earned more EPA GreenChill store certifications than all grocery retailers in the nation
combined for two consecutive years. Aldi is seeking to make refrigeration more sustainable, and that includes transitioning to natural refrigerants with near-zero global warming potential to prevent harmful greenhouse gases emissions.
- Aldi diverted 74% of operational waste companywide that would otherwise go to landfills. Instead, that potential waste was donated, recycled, or composted.
- Aldi donated more than 33 million pounds of food through its partnership with Feeding America.
Hart added in the recent press release:
While it is incredible to look back on what we have accomplished in 12 months, what excites me most is our ability to go even further together to ensure that as our business grows, our environmental footprint doesn’t grow with us. We are committed to learning and adapting to be the best corporate citizen we can be while also providing you with the value you expect from ALDI.
You can view the full press release from Aldi here.