Aldi's Easter hot cross bun strategy discussed by expert

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In recent months, many of the UK’s major supermarkets have implemented new changes in stores to reduce the use of plastic. Aldi is the latest supermarket to introduce a new step in its bid to cut plastic, as it trials the selling of products without packaging.

The trial has already been launched at one Aldi store in Ulverston, Cumbria.

However, if successful, the supermarket hopes to introduce the change to other stores across the UK in the future.

The packaging-free products available now are four household staples: basmati rice, brown rice, penne pasta, and wholewheat fusilli pasts.

Customers can buy these foods loose in store from a refill station.

Instead of coming already packed in plastic packaging, customers will fill paper bags with the foods of their choosing.

The paper bags are offered to shoppers for free and are later weighed.

Currently, the loose brown rice costs 75p per one kilogram, while the loose basmati rice costs £1.19 per one kilogram.

This move could remove more than 130 tonnes, or more than 21 million pieces, of plastic annually from Aldi stores.

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Richard Gorman, Plastics and Packaging Director at Aldi, said: “Customers at our Ulverston store can now buy the same high-quality items they know and love, while also cutting down on plastic packaging.

“We’re always looking for new ways to reduce waste plastic and limit packaging, as many of our shoppers are increasingly conscious of the environment and their impact on it.

“We hope local customers embrace the trial and we will use their feedback to inform any future plans around refillable products.”

Recycling and cutting down on plastic is now more important than ever since as much as 13million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year, according to research carried out by UN Environment.

There are concerns by environmental specialists that the amount of plastic piling up both in oceans and on the streets will increase due to the high volume of PPE products used throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

It is therefore important that supermarkets and other retailers are doing all they can to limit plastic waste.

In 2020, Aldi announced that it hoped to halve the amount of plastic packaging used in its stores by 2025.

The supermarket is committed to removing 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from its products over the next five years.

Aldi has been carbon neutral since January 2019, and it is also on track to have all packaging on its own-label products as recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2022.

Additionally, the supermarket hopes to have all packaging on branded products as recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

In other Aldi news, the discount retailer has issued a food recall on its Harvest Morn Crisp Rice cereal.

The product is being recalled to stores in exchange of a full refund due to the presence of plastic.

Therefore, the cereal may cause damage to customers if eaten.

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