Aldi is launching new home compostable trays made from sugarcane across all its multi-award winning premium Specially Selected Irish steaks range. The new packaging, which was developed exclusively for Aldi and is the first of its kind in Ireland, will see more than 67 tonnes of plastic removed from Aldi’s 145 Irish stores each year.
Aldi has been working with its long-term Irish supplier, ABP Food Group, since August 2018 to develop the packaging solution, made from environmentally friendly sugarcane pulp which is a rapidly renewable resource, as an alternative to traditional plastic trays. This means customers can now place the trays in their compost heap at home or put them in their brown bin. In addition, the trays are fully recyclable meaning customers can place them in their recycling bins if needed. Aldi is also removing the cardboard boxes, resulting in a 52 tonne reduction of packaging.
The initiative is part of Aldi’s long-term plastic and packaging reduction programme, which is working to ensure 100% of Aldi’s own-label packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of next year, and to reduce plastic packaging on all Aldi products by 50% by 2025.
Aldi is committed to providing customers with 100% Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish steak and beef. This past year saw Aldi selling a total of more than 1.9 million premium Irish steaks as customers enjoyed more home cooked meals over lockdown. In particular, customers increased their consumption of steak and beef by 21.58% between March 2020, when the pandemic began, and March 2021, in line with a shift towards home dining experiences for both family favourites and special occasions.
Commenting, John Curtin, Aldi Group Buying Director, said: “Developing this innovative new material for our steak range is a first in Irish retail, and our long-term supplier ABP Food Group has been instrumental in making this switch in line with our plastic reduction programme. We aim to give customers the finest Irish steak and beef at the most affordable prices, all sourced from our fantastic producers around Ireland. Now customers can enjoy the same great tasting products with the added benefit of more sustainable packaging that’s better for the environment long-term.”
Brian Frazer, Key Account Manager with ABP Ireland, added: “Developing this market-leading eco-friendly material in partnership with Aldi is the result of almost three years of research and development. We’re proud to see the finished product, which is a first in Irish retail, on shelves and to know it will make a real difference to Aldi’s overall sustainability goals.
“We have been supplying Aldi with award-winning meat since 2003 and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership into the future.”
Since introducing its plastic-reduction strategy, Aldi has removed more than 2,050 tonnes of virgin plastic from its 145 Irish stores in addition to replacing almost 930 tonnes of non-recyclable material with recyclable alternatives.
Aldi’s Specially Selected premium Irish steaks have received numerous awards for quality. Most recently, at the 2021 International Taste Institute Awards, Aldi was named the number 1 Irish Retailer with Aldi’s Specially Selected Irish Black Angus Rib Eye Steak, Specially Selected Irish Black Angus Fillet Steak and Tipperary Dry Aged Irish Black Angus Rib Eye Steak all receiving the top prize of 3 stars, which means Aldi is now the proud holder of 3 Crystal Awards, more than any other Irish retailer.
Over the past year, Aldi has made huge progress towards achieving its targets to reduce and remove the amount of plastic used across its stores. Successes include:
• Becoming the first supermarket in Ireland to fully remove single-use plastic straws, replacing them with recyclable paper straws, affecting more than 4.5 million straws annually.
• Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recyclable packaging across own-brand White Family Pan and 100% Wholemeal Sliced Pan, removing over 18 tonnes of plastic.
• Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recycled PET water bottles across own-label water ranges, which affects more than 30 million water bottles each year.
• Becoming the first retailer in Ireland to fully remove all black plastic from core food ranges.
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