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Sainsbury’s and Aldi make plastic progress


Credit: Aldi


In a happy coincidence, Sainsbury’s and Aldi both announced today that they will rid drinks cartons of plastic straws. But supermarkets still have a long way to go…


Both supermarkets announced today that they’ll swap plastic for straws made out of recyclable paper. While some may find it disappointing that plastic has been used at all up until now, it is encouraging to see the movement away from single-use plastics building up pace with both major retailors scrambling to make the change at the same time.


Sainsbury’s change will take effect within two weeks, and should reduce the number of plastic straws by 18.5 million (weighing 6.6 tonnes) each year! The move is part of the supermarket’s campaign to cut its plastic use by 50% by 2025.


Plastic straws are also being removed from drinks cartons by Aldi, which it replacing them with FSC-certified cardboard equivalents. The German supermarket reckons this move will save over 100 tonnes of plastic annually. Like Sainsbury’s, Aldi is hoping to halve the plastic in its stored by 2025.


Richard Gorman, Plastics and Packaging Director at Aldi UK, said:

“Our customers want environmentally-friendly products, and plastic straws are one thing, in particular, that people want to move away from to help make a difference.”

More progress needed


While today’s news is welcome, any trip to a supermarket is enough to demonstrate that there is still a long way to go.


The majority of fruits and vegetables continue to be wrapped in soft (aka unrecyclable!) plastic, while plastic bags which could quite easy be swapped for paper continue to be sold by most of the major retailers (though Morrison's is a noble exception, pledging to remove all plastic bags this year).

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