Discount Retail Chain Aldi UK has announced that it will no longer use plastic packaging for its own-label four-packs of beer and cider.
The plastic shrink wrap and rings that had previously been used to hold the cans together have been replaced with a cardboard alternative. Aldi estimates that the switch will remove some 95 tonnes of plastic packaging per year.
The plastic rings/yokes often used to package multipacks of cans have received a huge amount of negative publicity in recent years, especially due to the problems they cause marine wildlife, with animals becoming strangled by the plastic. The plastic also does not biodegrade, meaning that it remains within this ecosystems for an indefinite amount of time. UNESCO estimates that 8-10 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year.
Luke Emery, plastics and packaging director at Aldi, said of the change: “Minimising plastic waste is important to both Aldi and our customers, and we are always looking for ways to adapt our packaging. Moving our beer and cider to card packaging is another step in our fight against unwanted plastic.”
A spokesperson for Aldi also revealed that while larger multipacks of beer and cider (cans and bottles) are available at certain times, these do not use plastic packaging.