Aldi to Ditch Plastic Shopping Bags as Part of Eco-Friendly Vision

Aldi to phase out plastic shopping bags

Photo via Aldi US.

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.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at rachaelsjohnston.com.

5 Comments

  1. Catherine A. McClarey

    I’m OK with bringing non-woven fabric totes if I don’t want to rely on Aldi paper sacks; however, what about insulated totes for perishables? If I forget to bring an insulated tote with me, I’d like to be able to buy one at Aldi – and do they have a way to make those without using any plastic?

  2. I am happy to read this! One of my first incentives to shop at Aldi was to be able to sack my own food in my own reusable bags. I have a “few” bags & as I empty them I return them to my car for the next trip. I have found that I almost always can use at least 2 insulated bags along with the regular bags. I really hate those ubiquitous plastic bags!

    • Catherine A. McClarey

      Agreed. I’m able to reuse Aldi’s plastic bags (as well as the plastic bags from other stores) for protective coverings/”shrink wrap” substitutes and void fill in outgoing eBay packages, but I always have many more plastic bags than I can use for those purposes. The one bag-related thing I’d really like Aldi to continue carrying is the insulated bags, as I always have at least a 20-minute drive home from the nearest Aldi, and don’t always remember to bring insulated bags with me (or enough insulated bags, esp. in hot weather).

  3. David Morrison

    This is a nice step … but can they do anything about their plastic packaging. ALDI has been increasing plastic packaging on veggies. They keep taking away bulk bins and replacing with items in a plastic tray and wrapped in plastic. Recent examples that used to be in bulk cases that are now encased in plastic are Poblano Peppers, Tomatillos, Zucchini and Yellow Squash.
    Due to the few shoppers I see buying plastic bags the above increased plastic packaging far outstrips this announcement to eliminate plastic bags.

  4. I believe that change begins in the heart of the individual, and without the individual there can be no policy change, anywhere. Discussion alone isn’t enough, but everything starts with discussion.The fact remains that no corporation in a free market can survive without consumers’ choice. The best weapon to resist the Corporate Overlords is our wallet. (Mine is not that big…but whatever) we vote with our wallet. My money goes to Aldi.
    And the Farmer’s Market, although a lot of them try to shove plastic bags at you too.

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