Aldi to Suppliers: Go Green or Go Home

By Holly Brockwell on at

Aldi is telling its suppliers to get on board with its drive to make everything more sustainable, or face being cut off by the retailer.

The company has declared its intention to sell all of its own-brand products in 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by the year 2022. Now it's saying suppliers have to do the same by 2025. That seems like a reasonable amount of time to find a better way to us.

CEO of Aldi UK Giles Hurley explained the situation in a letter to suppliers, describing the decision as "non-negotiable" and emphasising that they'll be making buying decisions based on who can fulfil the new criteria.

The letter also reportedly mentions that Aldi will be starting a reuse and refill service – alongside lots of other supermarkets – that allows customers to bring reusable containers to be filled at the store, then washed and refilled when they run out, rather than always using disposable packaging.

The tone of the letter is pretty strict, according to The Grocer:

"Following receipt of this letter, your Aldi buying director will contact you directly to discuss what tangible actions you will take. I request that you speak openly with your buying contact to actively explore all opportunities to develop more innovative packaging solutions and deliver on our packaging commitments. [...]

I look forward to seeing the progress that we can achieve together, in this business-critical area."

Aldi say it's saved 2,700 tonnes of plastic and 3,700 tonnes of unrecyclable rubbish since it started moving towards sustainability in 2018. It's also about to try ditching single-use carrier bags in some of its UK branches, and reusable produce bags will expand from a trial of 250 stores to the full 870 this year. [enviro30]

Main image: Mike Mozart via Flickr Creative Commons