Aldi announces huge change to popular lunchbox item

Supermarket giant Aldi has today announced that it is the first Australian supermarket to introduce paper straws on juice box and popper cartons.

The pilot scheme is set to launch in selected New South Wales stores this month, with Aldi’s Westcliff Tropical Fruit Drink packs adorning the new-look paper straws.

A rollout of paper straws across the whole beverage carton range is set to occur in 2022 at a nationwide level, with the poppers still being retailed at the same price.

The announcement comes as part of Aldi’s wider goal to reduce the amount of plastic used in its own-label range by 25 per cent by 2025, as recent data suggests that juice poppers have contributed to more than 140 billion plastic straws in Australian landfill over the last 40 years.

Aldi announcement with photo of popper 6 pack and the words 'Introducing our exSTRAWdinary popper improvement.
The existing drink cartons are recyclable and the plastic sleeve around the straw can also be recycled through soft plastic recycling programs like REDcycle. Source: Aldi

The new straws have gone through extensive quality assurance testing and measuring to ensure integrity, durability, and the ability to puncture packets and sit in the drink without disintegrating.

Dan Warner, Buying Director for Drinks at Aldi Australia said that the supermarket giant is exceptionally proud to start offering poppers with less plastic.

“Parents on a mission to reduce household waste and their environmental impact can now have peace of mind knowing the drink in their child’s lunchbox contains less plastic, and they aren’t sacrificing convenience or worrying about any impact to their back pockets,” he said.

Aldi customers post mixed reactions to paper straw move

Aldi’s move to paper straws on juice boxes has been widely shared on social media, receiving mixed reactions from shoppers.

A member of the Aldi Mum’s Facebook group posted the announcement, sharing her delight at the change to the group’s 186,200 members.

Another customer congratulated Aldi Australia on their Facebook page, calling the announcement a “great environmental move”.

Picture of the Aldi sign on one of their stores outdoors, tree in background. Source: Getty Images
Social media is divided over Aldi's paper straw announcement. Source: Getty Images

However not all customers are convinced that the switch is a positive idea, sharing their thoughts in the comments section of a recent Aldi Australia Facebook post.

“Some of us have children with special needs and paper straws do not hold up to chewing and the texture can be distressing,” said one person.

“Will the straws be gluten free? Some of us have allergies,” commented another.

“The bit that covers the straw is still plastic and plastic still holds the poppers together though?” a third person questioned.

Mr Warner said that Aldi has worked tirelessly to create sustainable straws of the highest quality.

“Responsibility is one of ALDI’s core values, so when we say we are taking steps to contribute to a more sustainable future, we don’t cut corners to get there,” he said.

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