After years of debates, a resolution has finally been reached. Following a multi-stage plan, items made out of single-use plastics are to be banned throughout the EU by 2021, starting with tableware and cutlery, cotton buds, straws and balloon sticks. Plastic beverage bottles are to have a recycling share of 25 percent by 2025.
Plastic bags at supermarkets, however, are not affected by the new regulations. Currently, the only applicable regulations are national ones. France banned single-use plastic bags as early as 2017, and in Britain, alternatives to plastic bags and other single-use packaging are on the rise. The German Federal Government aims to ban plastic bags from supermarkets as soon as possible – after the law has been passed by the German parliament and the Bundesrat, Germany plans a transitional six-month phase, during which supermarkets will be allowed to provide their remaining stock to customers. A few supermarkets have already taken the first steps of their own accord and are now offering packaging solutions that are just as practical as plastic bags.
ALDI COOPERATES WITH START-UPS
In 2018, Germany provided customers with more than two billion plastic bags – the equivalent of a consumption of 24 bags per capita. The ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD supermarket chains have increasingly offered reusable bags as alternatives to conventional single-use carrier bags since as early as 2017 and, at the beginning of 2019, permanently removed single-use plastic packaging from their range. In keeping with their “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” sustainability principles, the chains plan to completely do without certain materials and to increasingly employ reusable materials in their packaging in future. In order to achieve this, the discount retailer established the Accelerator Program TechFounders at the beginning of 2019. Of the more than 80 applicants, three start-ups underwent a 20-week development programme. ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD will add the packaging solutions developed in the course of the programme to their ranges.