ALDI is the top-ranked retailer for its efforts to tackle single-use plastics. Yet it still failed, which gives an idea of how poorly the others are performing. ALDI has several initiatives that most others do not: a specific plastic reduction target, a more comprehensive plastic reduction plan, greater transparency, and commitments to implement reuse and refill systems.
Policy: ALDI has a plastic reduction target, though this goal includes lightweighting (using less plastic for certain items), instead of actually reducing the total number of single-use plastic items it carries. ALDI must update its commitment to move beyond lightweighting and set an absolute reduction target that leads to a complete phase-out of single-use plastics.
Reduction: ALDI does not have in-store cafés, delis, or food or salad bars, so it avoids distributing any single-use plastic foodware. ALDI has never provided single-use plastic checkout bags, but it offers heavier “reusable” plastic bags for purchase. ALDI should get rid of these bags and ultimately phase out all single-use plastics in its stores.
Initiatives: Because ALDI sells mostly its own brand products, it can move more quickly than most retailers to shift to innovative reuse and refill options. ALDI will implement a project by 2020 that makes it easier for customers to reuse its own brand product packaging.
Transparency: ALDI scored better than most retailers in this category, largely because of its high level of reporting with Greenpeace on its overall plastic footprint. ALDI must publicly share this information along with its progress to reduce single-use plastics.