“Ever since we opened our doors in Great Britain, 25 years ago, we have been strongly committed to finding ways to reduce our plastic waste.”
Lidl has said that it has become the first supermarket in the UK to introduce reusable fruit and vegetable bags across all stores nationwide to help reduce plastic waste in the long term.
A Lidl spokesman told Bio Market Insights that the bags were made from durable polyester and were designed to be “machine-washable and long lasting”.
The bags, priced at 69p for two, aim to provide customers with a reusable alternative to single-use, small fruit and vegetable bags.
“Ever since we opened our doors in Great Britain, 25 years ago, we have been strongly committed to finding ways to reduce our plastic waste. We’ve made changes – big and small – over the years to help contribute to this. Today’s announcement is the next step, and one which we hope will help customers shift to a truly reusable option,” Georgina Hall, head of communications and CSR at Lidl GB (@LidlGB), said.
The discounter said it also plans to reduce plastic waste by 20% by 2022 and ensure 100% of its own-brand packaging is widely recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable by 2025.
Since opening its first store in 1994, Lidl has charged for plastic carrier bags. Its move to remove all single-use carrier bags from sale in 2017 resulted in 26 million fewer plastic bags being sold annually.
Although reaction from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive to the bags, a number of shoppers have criticised Lidl’s initiative.
Commenting on Lidl’s Facebook page, consumer Kerrie Convie said: “This will work much better if you remove your pre-packed plastic packaging. European supermarkets lead the way in this. Little pre-packed fruit and veg.”
Shopper Caroline Rice added: “Great, but will all of your fruit and veg be available without plastic. The same goes for the fun bags. Remove the plastic and let us buy what we need.”
As well as introducing its reusable polyester bag, Lidl said it will be taking additional steps to reduce plastic use and waste. This includes the removal of black plastic from its fruit and veg range and fresh meat, fish and poultry range by the end of August.
Lidl’s plans also include trialling the removal of 9p reusable bags from sale in Wales, a pledge to sell packs of paper straws and the replacement of plastic tomato punnets with cardboard.