UK – Multinational discount supermarket chain, Aldi has expanded its soft plastic collection points to nearly all its stores in the UK.

The supermarket has said the goal is to help reduce plastic pollution and to help customers to recycle more waste per year.

Following the success of the trial last year, the move means customers can return soft plastic packaging such as crisp packets, bread bags and carrier bags – regardless of where the items were bought.

Aldi has said it expects to collect 1,000 tonnes of plastic a year once the bins are fully installed in over 800 stores nationwide, which will be complete by the end of this year.

“We are always striving to reduce plastic waste wherever possible, and we know how important this is to our customers,” said Plastics and Packaging Director at Aldi UK, Richard Gorman.

“This rollout is a step in the right direction and provides our shoppers with an easy option to recycle their problematic soft plastic packaging in the UK.”

The rollout has been supported by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a charity that aims to help businesses move towards a circular economy.

According to WRAP’s Head of Business Collaboration, Helen Bird, a fifth of the plastic packaging that consumers are left with at home is plastic bags and wrapping – which can be recycled.

“There are opportunities to reduce this, but where plastic is used, packaging design needs to be simplified and recycling systems are needed,” she said.

In future years, Helen expects this packaging to be collected directly from people’s homes and places of work, but she believes that “solutions are urgently needed today to tackle the growing mountain of waste.”

“We have seen trials and regional rollouts of similar schemes by other supermarkets working towards The UK Plastics Pact goal for all plastic packaging to be recyclable by 2025, this move by Aldi is a great achievement and one we fully support,” she added.

Last month, Aldi signed a long-term agreement with Euro Pool System on returnable packaging equipment.

The partnership looks to improve Aldi’s sustainability commitments, its environmentally responsible network and to eliminate single-use materials such as cardboard within its supply chain.

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