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Aldi’s fresh Wicklow herbs switch to recyclable and compostable packaging

Aldi Ireland announced today that its own-label Irish sourced potted herbs are now packaged in recyclable and home compostable materials. The change, which came into effect from April this year, will lead to the removal of more than 5.5 tonnes of non-recyclable material annually from Aldi’s potted herbs range, namely Aldi’s parsley, coriander and basil.

The pot that holds the plant will now be made from polypropylene – a 100% recyclable material that is used across many different types of packaging and consumer goods – while the sleeve around the pot will be made from sugarcane derivatives and other home compostable materials. This now means customers can throw the sleeves into their brown bin or compost heap (along with the soil in the herb pot when finished with it), and the herb pot can go into the green bin to be recycled.

Aldi has been working with its Wicklow-based supplier O’Hanlon Herbs for the past six months to introduce the new recyclable packaging. The initiative is part of Aldi’s ongoing long-term plastic reduction programme throughout its 142 Irish stores, with the overall goal of having 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging across its products by 2025.

Commenting, John Curtin, Aldi’s Group Buying Director, said: “Moving our herb pots to recyclable material and making the sleeves home compostable is our latest step towards making all of our packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable. This change means that customers can recycle the pots and can even feed their compost heap with the sleeves and soil so nothing goes to waste!”

Aldi is working to ensure that 100% of its own-label packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and aims to achieve a 50% reduction (relative to 2015 levels) in packaging across its own-label products by 2025. As well as this, Aldi is working to remove all expanded polystyrene trays, non-detectable black plastic trays, and PVC from all Aldi own-brand product packaging by the end of 2020.

To date, Aldi’s long-term plastics reduction programme has seen it remove non-detectable black plastic trays from its fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and beef ranges, and introduce three new environmentally friendly bag options to its stores, saving the use of 12.5 million plastic bags annually. As of January 31st, all pizzas in Aldi’s Specially Selected Irish Pizza range now have cardboard trays instead of polystyrene trays.

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