To mark World Environment Day today (June 5), Aldi has shared five insider tips to help shoppers make greener choices when it comes to grocery shopping. From finding ways to cut down on plastic packaging, to minimising food waste and choosing products from British suppliers, there are plenty of small changes you can adopt to make a big difference.
Liz Fox, corporate responsibility director at Aldi UK, said: “At Aldi, we’re always searching for new ways to make it easier for our customers to shop sustainably. These are just a few simple changes to your shopping habits that we’d suggest considering as they could go a long way to reducing the environmental impact of your weekly shop.”
Cut down on plastic packaging
Opting for loose produce over multipacks of fruit and vegetables can make a big difference to the amount of plastic packaging needed – and don’t forget to bring your own reusable grocery and produce bags along, too.
Aldi said it was committed to eliminating plastic wherever possible. The supermarket is currently working towards using reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging for 100% of its own-brand products by the end of 2022. Some changes to look out for in store include the removal of plastic straws from all of its own-label drinks cartons and banning plastic shrink-wrap on its own-label multipack soft drink cans.
Don’t forget to recycle
Some products require plastic packaging in order to stay fresh. If that’s the case, try to choose items packaged in recyclable plastic.
Remember to rinse any residual waste off the packaging and check the back of the pack for recycling instructions. It’s also important to know about what can be recycled by your local authority. Not-for-profit organisation WRAP has a handy guide on its website to help.
Food miles have a heavy carbon footprint, which is why you should always consider buying from British suppliers when you can. Aldi’s entire core range of fresh meat, milk and shell eggs come from British, Red Tractor and Lion Eggs approved farms, so it’s easy to make more sustainable choices.
Back in 2015, Aldi signed up to the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Back British Farming Charter. This supports British farming and makes the country a more food secure nation.
Another step to consider is shopping seasonally for your British fruit and vegetables, as this reduces the likelihood of unsustainable farming methods. Things like Aldi’s British blackberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and raspberries will all be appearing in stores soon.
Tackle food waste
Planning meals for the week ahead and making a shopping list can make a big difference when it comes to cutting food waste. Cooking meals in bulk that can be frozen and eaten later is also another way to use up all the food in your fridge. Aldi has a range of budget-friendly recipes to help you do more with your leftovers, which can be found at aldi.co.uk/c/recipes
Aldi also said it had a variety of initiatives as part of its pledge to reduce its own food waste by 20% by 2025, and 50% by 2030, including its surplus food donation programme in partnership with Neighbourly and price reductions in store on products approaching their use-by dates.
When it comes to shopping more sustainably, it’s not just about how you shop, but where you shop too. There are lots of ways your supermarket can improve its green credentials in-store, so keep an eye on what they’re up to alongside your own efforts.
Aldi said it had been carbon neutral since 2019 and is powered by 100% green electricity. Aldi also has solar panels on more than 400 of its stores and all 11 UK regional distribution centres.
Though Aldi’s Greener Everyday colleague engagement programme, all Aldi colleagues are supported to make a difference and reduce their impact on the environment. This initiative has helped Aldi make improvements to the efficiency of its lighting, refrigeration, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.