Aldi refill station

Rice and pasta: Aldi trials food refill station concept

Supermarket chain Aldi UK has launched its first food refill station, in a store in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Four household staples – basmati rice, brown rice, penne pasta and wholewheat fusilli – are available to buy loose in the shop, with customers encouraged to use reusable and recyclable paper bags to buy these goods which would usually be contained in plastic packaging.

If successful, Aldi said it will look to develop its refillable options in other stores in the future. The move follows similar steps taken by several other grocers, including Asda, Marks & Spencer, and Waitrose, which have each introduced refill stations in some of their shops as a move to cut down on plastic usage and improve their green credentials.

Aldi said the four product ranges available in the trial are priced by weight, and the grocer views the concept as part of its work to become more sustainable.

Richard Gorman, plastics & packaging director at Aldi, remarked: “Customers at our Ulverston store can now buy the same high-quality items they know and love, while also cutting down on plastic packaging.

“We’re always looking for new ways to reduce waste plastic and limit packaging, as many of our shoppers are increasingly conscious of the environment and their impact on it. We hope local customers embrace the trial and we will use their feedback to inform any future plans around refillable products.”

In 2020, Aldi said it wanted to halve the volume of plastic packaging it uses in its operations by 2025. To achieve this, it will need to remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from products over the five-year period.

The supermarket chain is also aiming for all its own-label products to come in recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2022. It is giving itself another three years for all branded products sold at Aldi to follow suit.

[Image credit: Aldi UK/City Press]

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