Major Aldi change set to transform supermarket shelves

There's three major changes being rolled out across Aldi stores.

Aldi shoppers will soon start to notice a number of subtle but significant changes to shelves across the nation as the retailer rolls out a number of new waste reduction initiatives.

Aimed at condensing the supermarket's plastic usage by 25 per cent by 2025, a goal it claims it has halfway completed, some of the changes have already been gradually implemented in stores, while others are set to take effect later this year.

Aldi claims it has already reduced 12.2 per cent of its plastic waste since 2019, which it says has removed a total 5,500 tonnes of plastic from circulation.

Earlier this year, the supermarket announced it's Jindurra Station two-star beef mince cuts now had 70 per cent less plastic in its packaging, with the retailer also transitioning its "everyday range" of batteries from plastic to paper packaging — resulting in the elimination of approximately 17 tonnes of plastic waste annually, it claimed.

In addition to the phase out, Aldi now says it'll remove Styrofoam noodle cups later this year, replacing them with a paper-based recyclable alternative.

An exterior shot of an Aldi storefront.
Aldi shoppers will soon notice a major change to supermarket shelves. Source: Getty

Aldi's latest initiatives explained

The changes come as the nation's major supermarkets face continued criticism over their exorbitant use of plastic — particularly on products like fruit and vegetables, many of which naturally grow a durable outer layer — and as Australians seek responsibility from retailers in general over their use of single-use plastics.

Aldi Australia's Sustainability Director Daniel Baker said the supermarket is aiming at keeping costs low, while striving to reduce wastage at the same time.

“As a business, we are fundamentally focused on delivering for our customers, and we are keenly aware many of them are feeling the pinch right now," Mr Baker said. "For us, we won’t be beaten on the cost of the weekly shop, but that simply doesn’t come at the expense of our commitment to our ambitious sustainability initiatives.

“It’s difficult to ignore the negative impact plastic waste can have on our environment.

Supermarkets face continued criticism

"We have a responsibility to reduce our use of plastic packaging, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously at Aldi, in the same way we work with our supplier partners to ensure our top-notch product quality and affordable prices, we also work with them to innovate our packaging to ‘design-out’ plastic."

Many have argued that fruit and veg can be left loose, or packaged using more sustainable options. Source: Reddit.
Many have argued that fruit and veg can be left loose, or packaged using more sustainable options. Source: Reddit.

Earlier this year, Aldi also removed its 15 cent bags from stores around the country in a bid to reduce waste, and installed chiller doors in refrigerated sections to minimise energy usage.

This year, as the nation continues to grapple with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Australians have been particularly scathing of big retailers, criticising them of price gouging, over-policing, their respective billion-dollar profits and for their extreme use of plastic.

Coles and Woolworths customers especially have taken aim at the supermarket giants for their excessive use of plastic packaging, sharing photos of grocery items wrapped in what appears to be a disproportionate amount of the material, while urging the retailers to adopt more sustainable alternatives.

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