Lidl has confirmed that is removing black plastic packaging from its entire fruit and vegetable range before Christmas.
The packaging, which cannot be recycled, will be scrapped from fresh fish products by February 2019, followed by fresh meat, poultry and cured meat ranges before August, the German retailer said in a statement.
Black plastic packaging is not recycled in Ireland or the UK because recycling sorting systems cannot detect the carbon black pigment.
As a result of this move by Lidl, over 65 tonnes of black plastic waste will be avoided annually from fruit and vegetables alone.
“These are significant steps,” Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland Managing Director, J.P. Scally said. “Sustainability is core to our business and we are proud to continue leading the retail sector in implementing ambitious measures which will deliver real and lasting benefits for everyone.”
Lidl, named Ireland’s ‘Green Retailer of the Year 2018’ recently said it has scrapped the sale of single-use plastic items including drinking straws, disposable plates, cups and cutlery, with plastic-stemmed cotton buds next on the list in the coming months.
The single-use plastic items are being replaced with biodegradable alternatives.
Private Label Packaging Reduction
The discount retailer announced in March this year that it will reduce plastic packaging volumes by 20% by 2022.
The retailer said that by 2025 it aims to make 100% of its private label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable, as well as sourcing half of the material in its private label packaging from recyclables.
It has also announced that it will eradicate microbeads from its cosmetic and household products, ahead of the Government's planned ban on the tiny plastic balls found in soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs, due by the end of 2018.
The discounter's announcement came after it received the ‘Green Retailer Award’ at this year’s annual Green Awards.
Lidl Ireland then said that it will introduce a number of measures as a direct response to consumer demand for more loose fruit and veg and that it will also continue to trial the removal and adaptation of packaging and will monitor any impact this has on food waste.
“We have looked at plastic packaging in the context of our wider sustainability commitments and strongly believe that our circular approach will deliver a viable long-term solution without compromising on our ability to deliver exceptional value to customers,” said J.P. Scally, managing director, Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland at the time.
“We have listened to the feedback from our customers who are requesting more recyclable packaging and less plastic,” Scally added.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.