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Discount supermarket Lidl has said that it will begin transitioning to the new compostable fruit and vegetable bags from the beginning of next year. It comes as part of its new initiatives including its REset Plastic strategy, to help reduce plastic waste and support recycling.
Plastic pollution causes harm to humans, animals and plants through toxic pollutants.
Currently, hundreds of food items are wrapped in plastic bags or packaging to keep them fresh.
This includes fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots and potatoes.
However, Lidl is taking steps to reduce their plastic usage, and will introduce new bags for customers to use.
The new compostable bags are designed to be re-used as caddy liners for domestic food waste collections.
They will also be suitable for home-composting, providing them with a longer lifespan.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl GB we are committed to tackling excessive plastic waste and our compostable fruit and vegetable bags are the latest innovation to help limit the amount of plastic in our environment.
“As a bricks and mortar retailer, how we operate in our stores, and the packaging we use, plays such a vital role in helping customers to tackle their plastic consumption.
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“By offering convenient solutions such as compostable bags and making it easier for customers to recycle more plastic through our in-store drop off points, we are hoping to give customers the opportunity to take small steps to reduce and recycle their plastic packaging.”
Customers were delighted with the news and took to social media to share their thoughts.
One Twitter user, Michael Arun, said: “Good to see the discounters taking steps to prevent unnecessary plastic, big news.”
Another person, Louis Lis, explained: “Would be nice to see them being rolled out sooner but understand these things take lots of planning.”
As well as the new bags, the discount supermarket is also trailing a plastic bag and wrapping recycling scheme across 12 UK stores.
The trial, which is due to be rolled out in October, will enable shoppers to return their soft plastics to store.
Currently, more than 80 percent of UK local authorities in the UK do not pick up soft plastics including bread bags, crisp packets and biscuit wrappers.
Other items that can be recycled include carrier bags and pet food pouches.
Customers can recycle these items, from any brand or retailer.
Compostable bags should be used for food waste and not placed in these collection points.
Shoppers will be able to find these drop-off points at the front of Lidl stores.
The retailer has said that all products dropped off will be recycled into products, such as refuse sacks.
Lidl has said it will be rolled out nationwide if it proves to be a success.
Helen Bird, Strategic Technical Manager, WRAP, said: “While we need to reduce single use packaging where possible, where it’s not, packaging must be recyclable and that’s what members of The UK Plastics Pact have pledged to do by 2025.
“It’s great news that Lidl is taking its responsibility seriously in this area and introducing collection points for bags and wrapping under The Pact.
“Our research shows that many citizens were willing to bring this material back to stores and we’re encouraged by the success of these collections to date.”
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