Aldi UK has announced today that it has joined the Refill Coalition, alongside Ocado, Waitrose, CHEP and Unpackaged.
The collaboration aims to bring together competitive companies to find ways of tackling the prevalence of single-use plastic packaging in the food industry.
The Refill Coalition was convened in 2020 by Unpackaged, a consultancy that has campaigned for and driven innovation in “zero-waste” retail models since 2006.
Key to the coalition is the co-design of an a new refill invention to be used across retail. Some retailers, including Waitrose, Asda, and Marks & Spencer, have introduced refill stations of their own in the aisles of their shops already. But so far these have been part of small-scale trials – for it to really grow, industry-wide collaboration is required, according to Unpackaged.
If successful, the Refill Coalition’s work could play a key role in reducing the amount of single-use plastic and help normalise refill stations for supermarket staples such as pasta and grains, as well as household products such as cleaning products and personal care items.
Refill stations allow consumers to bring their own reusable containers to buy these loose products.
Opinium Research in the form of the Grocery Sustainability Report, published earlier this year, shows that 71% of UK adults are open to trying refill stations, particularly women (76%) and 18-34-year-olds (76%).
According to Unpackaged, the Refill Coalition product is being made and the first store is expected to go live later this year, focusing on dry store goods.
Luke Emery, plastics & packaging director at Aldi UK, commented: “Aldi is dedicated to reducing single-use plastic, which is why we are pleased to become a member of the Refill Coalition.
“We look forward to working together with industry partners to offer customers even more convenient and efficient ways to shop plastic-free, and drive further uptake of unpackaged products.”
Catherine Conway, director at Unpackaged, added: “We are delighted that Aldi is joining the coalition, strengthening the work we have already started, with its unique position as the UK’s leading discounter.
“We look forward to launching the solution later in the year so that refills can become more accessible to UK shoppers who still want to consume less single-use plastic packaging on the items they purchase.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]