Aldi’s big move in Australia
Aldi has announced plans to send zero waste to landfill by 2025 and the move could mean additions to its popular Special Buys.
The discount supermarket will investigate closing the loop, such as sending broken pallets to be chipped into garden mulch and then sold as a Special Buy.
But to reach the zero milestone, Aldi will first focus on food with a goal to send zero food waste to landfill by 2023.
It will include an expansion to its food rescue program to reuse out of date goods for animals and when the food is deemed not suitable for human consumption.
Aldi stores around the country are already linked to one or more food rescue charities and in 2020 alone Aldi donated more than 10 million meals to charity partners and more than 66,000 kilograms of non-food items, according to the supermarket.
Under the program Aldi will expand segregated waste collection at stores, double food donations, as well as identify closed loop recycling opportunities within the organisation and its supply chain.
New Market Buy range
Aldi has also launched a new range called Market Buy, which will feature seasonal fruits and vegetables that have minor imperfections. The range will empower farmers to sell more of their crops and avoid edible produce from going to waste, added the supermarket.
Daniel Baker, corporate responsibility director at Aldi Australia said every present and future action taken to achieve its zero-waste commitment has been carefully considered to ensure the solution is both viable and has impact.
"Our commitment will see the business reduce the amount of waste created and reuse or recycle materials to cease unnecessary waste from being sent to landfill. It is our intention that collectively these actions will make a difference", he said.
The supermarket is also rolling out new uniforms for their store employees this year, with the old garments sent to a textile site to be recycled into apparel and furnishings.
It's trialling how customers can reduce their waste footprint too through in-store recycling services of common materials, including coffee capsules and soft plastics.
This is in addition to its battery recycling service, which has been available at every store since 2013.
The zero waste commitment aligns Aldi with the Australian Government's National Waste Policy Action Plan, which aims to reduce the total waste generated in Australia by 10 per cent per person and to halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030.
Currently, Australia wastes more than 7.3 million tonnes of food every year costing our economy over $20 billion annually.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said Aldi's commitment to reducing waste and improving sustainable practices will hopefully have an immense flow-on effect across its supply chain, and through to consumers.
"Significant commitments like Aldi's 'zero waste to landfill' show that Australia's national waste targets are attainable if business and shoppers get behind them," she added. "With innovative solutions and practical measures we really can work to a future with less waste."
Other major retailer's plans
Aldi joins other Australian supermarkets, which have announced sustainability plans.
Woolworths is looking to be powered by 100 per cent green energy by 2025 in a move it help grow the renewables sector. The ambitious pledge has been made with the intention of having net positive carbon emissions by at least 2050.
Under the retail giant's new sustainability plan which was announced in November last year, the company has also committed to zero food waste to landfill by 2025 and its own brand packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2023.
Meanwhile, Coles has committed to delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and for the entire group to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of the 2025 financial year.
In February, it announced it will stop selling single-use plastic cutlery and tableware from July in a bid to cut waste.
The move is predicted to remove 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic from landfill every year. Plastic products including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery will be banished from Coles shelves under the plan.
Originally published as Aldi's big move in Australia