Aldi Just Announced A Major Environmental Change For All Stores

Plastic is bad news for our environment. And one of the worst offenders when it comes to harmful plastics is disposable plastic bags. These convenient single-use bags that we are given whenever we do our groceries or pick up odds and ends at a store are actually among some of the most environmentally damaging types of litter that humans produce. Disposable plastic bags cannot be recycled, so they are notorious for clogging landfills, even leading to natural disasters like floods, according to One Green Planet. Plastic bags also leech dangerous chemicals into drinking water, which can be hazardous to people. Furthermore, they have been known to harm animal life, since birds, sea life, and other animals may ingest them, causing suffocation, strangulation, starvation, and death.

As a result, there has been a strong push to phase out disposable plastic bags entirely and replace them with more environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags. For instance, Whole Foods takes paper over plastic. And the discount grocery chain Aldi has just announced it will be doing its part to help the environment by overhauling its bag policy.

Aldi plans to remove plastic bags from all US stores

In addition to bringing May Flowers, April brings Earth Month. Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart decided to honor the occasion by pledging in a letter that the company would commit to more environmentally sustainable practices. Hart declared, "I am proud to announce today that ALDI will become the first major U.S retailer to commit to eliminating all plastic shopping bags from stores." The CEO went on to say that the chain has already said goodbye to plastic bags at close to 500 U.S. stores and plans to have zero plastic bags at all 2,200 of the U.S. locations "by the end of 2023." This initiative will "remove 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation each year," according to Hart.

This announcement comes just one year after the store announced its new sustainability charter in March of 2021, in which it outlined the environmental initiatives that Aldi planned to implement by 2030. The goals include cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, slashing food waste in half, and making 100% of its packaging "reusable, recyclable, or compostable," according to Supermarket Perimeter. Hart's letter also noted some of the other sustainable practices the chain has already implemented in recent years, including installing more solar panels at stores and distribution centers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions with more sustainable refrigeration, and working with Feeding America to donate over 33 million pounds of food.