At the end of last week, German supermarket Lidl vowed it would remove two billion pieces of plastic packaging from its UK stores by the end of 2022. The retailer has stated it has already removed over a billion pieces of plastic from its UK locations, and estimates it will remove a further half a billion by the end of this year.
Under its new drive to eliminate plastic from its shelves, Lidl says it has withdrawn 24 million plastic trays and punnets from its fruit and veg sections, as well as around 25 million plastic lids from dairy products, and a further 3.5 million pieces of plastic packaging on fresh flowers.
In a statement, Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to reach this significant milestone which demonstrates our commitment to tackling excessive plastic waste and working collaboratively with all of our suppliers.”
“We recognise, however, there is still more to do in this area which is why we are pushing to go further by removing even more pieces of plastic from our stores and packaging over the next two years and rolling-out our leading ocean-bound plastic packaging across more and more categories in our stores.”
Indeed, the supplier said that thanks to its ocean-bound plastic packaging, the equivalent of ten million water bottles were prevented from reaching our seas, in an initiative that was a supermarket first. Off the back of the project, Lidl said it would be expanding the scheme to incorporate ocean-bound plastic collected from South East Asia.
This year, the group reportedly reached its target of sourcing 50% of its packaging from recyclable materials – a goal that was initially anticipated to be reached in 2025. In addition, Lidl announced it has eliminated ‘problematic’ plastic packaging (such as PVC, expanded polystyrene and black plastic) from its stores.