Aldi Is Getting Rid of Plastic Bags at All 2,300 Stores, Setting New U.S. Record
The chain is the first major retailer in the U.S. to go completely bagless across all locations.
Sustainability continues to be a top priority for retailers, as the fight for a more eco-friendly shopping experience remains steadfast amongst consumers. In recent years, several grocers and big-box stores have implemented new operating strategies and packaging improvements aimed at being more environmentally conscious.
For example, Walmart has banned single-use plastic bags in more than 100 stores. And Kroger announced that it would phase them out entirely by 2025. In Oct. 2022, California became the first state to outlaw plastic produce bags after boycotting single-use bags from supermarkets, pharmacies, and convenience stores in 2016, per local CW-affiliated KTLA5. Other states with single-use plastic bag bans include New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, and Oregon, per The Hill.
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Now, Aldi is setting a new sustainability record amongst its competitors. In a Jan. 10 press release, the discount chain announced that it achieved its goal of eliminating plastic bags at all of its 2,300 locations—making Aldi the first major U.S. retailer to nix plastic bags altogether as a company.
According to Aldi, keeping plastic bags out of its stores will prevent an estimated 4,400 tons—or nearly nine million pounds—of plastic from entering circulation per year. The impressive milestone is in support of Aldi's goal of becoming the most sustainable grocer in the U.S.
"As one of America's fastest-growing retailers, we take our responsibility to lead the industry in sustainability seriously, so our customers don't have to choose between shopping responsibly and saving money," Aldi CEO Jason Hart said in the statement.
Looking ahead, Aldi has even bigger plans for supporting a healthier planet. By 2035, every Aldi store in the U.S. will use natural refrigerants. Not only will natural refrigerants help keep products fresher, but Aldi predicts that it will save "nearly 60 percent of potential carbon emission" annually.
"Eliminating plastic shopping bags from our stores and transitioning to environmentally friendly refrigerant systems not only help us protect the environment, but they also help reduce costs which we then pass on to our customers. These decisions help our customers feel good about shopping at ALDI and our employees feel proud to work here," Hart continued.
The next time you plan to make a pit stop at Aldi, be sure to bring your reusable bags for checkout.