Discount Retail Chain Aldi Ireland (German family owned) customers are to become the first to enjoy their hot cuppas sustainably as Aldi introduces new fully biodegradable teabags made from plant-based materials across all its own-label ranges. The switch, which is a first in Irish supermarkets, means each of the 286 million Aldi teabags sold every year will be biodegradable.
From mid-October, customers will start to see the new 100% biodegradable teabags across all of Aldi’s 148 Irish stores, with the full range landing in stores by December. Customers will be able to easily dispose of their teabags by placing them in their compost heap at home or putting them in their brown compost bin. Tea drinkers can rest assured their favourite hot drinks will taste as good as ever.
The new fully compostable teabags are made from renewable, plant-based resources derived from raw materials such as vegetable fats and oils, cellulose (such as in plant cells) and corn starch, as an alternative to traditional single use plastic. The switch is part of Aldi's long-term plastic and packaging reduction programme, which sees the supermarket working to reduce plastic packaging by 50% by 2025. Together with its dedicated suppliers, including long-term Irish supplier Bewley’s, Aldi has been working for over a year to introduce the new teabags across its award-winning own-label tea ranges, including McGrath’s blends. Aldi’s fruit and herb blends and its premium Specially Selected Infusion teas will also be made 100% biodegradable in the coming months.
To inform customers they are purchasing products made from renewable materials, Aldi has introduced a new logo, enabling customers to make more informed choices in shopping sustainably. Over the past year, the dedicated team at Bewley’s has been working hard to develop the biodegradable, plant-based teabags, investing in specialist bespoke machinery and undertaking rigorous testing to ensure the best quality and flavour of Aldi’s teas.
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Aldi also announced today that its Kilkeely Gold Spread, Original Spread and Lighter Spread tubs are now all 100% recyclable, meaning customers can now simply place them in their recycling bins after use. This move will contribute to the removal of nine tonnes of packaging from stores annually. Commenting on the initiative, John Curtin, Aldi Group Buying Director, said: “Introducing the new, fully biodegradable teabags across all our own-label McGrath’s tea ranges is testament to the innovative approach taken by our suppliers. We know that Ireland is a nation of tea drinkers and we’re proud to say that our customers will be drinking more sustainably from now on.”
“Whether customers are relaxing with a hot cuppa or chatting with friends, the quality and flavour of our award-winning teas are as wonderful as ever. Best of all, customers can now easily and sustainably dispose of their teabags by placing them in their brown bins to be composted.” Sheila Dowling, Commercial Director, Bewley’s Ireland, said: “Private label manufacturing is an important part of our overall business, and we are delighted to be working with Aldi to bring a biodegradable tea bag offering to market.” Over the past year, Aldi has made huge progress towards achieving its targets to reduce and remove the amount of packaging used across its stores and was recently voted the most sustainable supermarket in Ireland according to the Ireland Sustainability RepTrak Index 2021. Successes include:
Becoming the first supermarket in Ireland to fully remove single-use plastic straws, replacing them with recyclable paper straws, cutting more than 4.5 million plastic straws annually;
Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recyclable packaging across own-brand White Family Pan and 100% Wholemeal Sliced Pan, removing over 18 tonnes of plastic;
Becoming the first retailer to introduce 100% recycled PET water bottles to its own-label water ranges, removing more than 30 million non-recyclable water bottles each year;
Becoming the first retailer in Ireland to fully remove all black plastic from its core food ranges.