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Discount supermarket Lidl has said as part of its strategy to eliminate plastic waste it has cut down on millions of one-use plastics. This includes more than 24 million plastic trays and punnets being removed from its fruit and vegetable ranges as well as 25 million plastic lids from dairy and yoghurt products.
The discounter has also nearly cut 19 million plastic tags from its fruit and vegetable lines as well as more than three million pieces of plastic packaging on fresh flowers.
It comes as part of Lidl’s pledge to remove more than one billion pieces of plastic by the end of 2021 and two billion pieces by the end of 2022.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to reach this significant milestone which demonstrates our commitment to tackling excessive plastic waste and working collaboratively with all of our suppliers.
“We recognise, however, there is still more to do in this area which is why we are pushing to go further by removing even more pieces of plastic from our stores and packaging over the next two years and rolling-out our leading ocean-bound plastic packaging across more and more categories in our stores.”
Taking to Twitter to share their thoughts, one person said: “Amazing work Lidl.”
Another wrote: “Lovely to see supermarkets doing everything they can to cut down on plastic, it’s needed.”
Lidl is also expanding one of its trials which saw plastic collected from developing countries in South East Asia to prevent it from entering the ocean.
The ocean-bound plastic is already used in packaging across Lidl’s fresh fish and breaded poultry range and will be launched across berry packaging later this year.
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Last month Lidl launched a new scheme which saw customers receiving money-off vouchers for recycling.
Those who have been shopping in stores are able to return their Lidl drinks bottles.
Recycling units have been introduced as part of the Lidl Return, Reward, Recycle scheme.
Simply bring up to 25 clean glass, tin or plastic drink containers to the banks and earn up to £2.50 off.
Each item returned is worth an instant 10p off to spend in stores.
Changes have also been made by supermarkets including Aldi, Co-op and Sainsbury’s.
This includes the recent trial that could remove millions of pieces of plastic from products.
The trial with supplier Greencore will see plastic-free packaging on supermarket sandwiches.
Richard Gormon, plastics and packaging director at Aldi, said: “We are looking at every product we sell to see if there are ways we can remove plastic packaging or replace it with recyclable alternatives.
“Food to go is one of our most popular categories and we are confident this initiative will be well received by our customers.”
In other supermarket news, retailers continue to ask customers to wear a mask if they can.
Lidl said: “Although no longer legally required in England, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas and we will have signage in place at store entrances reminding our customers of this.
“Wearing a face covering in our stores is mandatory in Scotland and Wales in line with Government regulations, to help keep everyone safe.”
For those who have forgotten their mask, there will be face coverings available at the store entrance which can then be purchased at the till when customers complete their shop.
Lidl added: “Within England, we will enable colleagues to individually decide if they prefer to continue wearing a face covering or not and will continue to make these available for our colleagues.
“Within Scotland and Wales, we continue to provide face coverings to our colleagues who will wear these when working on the shop floor, and where necessary when working behind a screen.”
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