Criticism of Aldi’s initiative

Aldi’s announcement that it will charge 1 Cent for alternative fruit bags is provoking mixed reactions. The bvse (German Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management) Association for Plastics Recycling warns that increasing quantities of plastic packaging made from renewable raw materials can significantly detract from plastics recycling. Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany) speaks of “attention-seeking”.

The occasion is the announcement by Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd that from summer onwards they will only offer fruit and vegetable bags made from renewable raw materials and charge customers 1 Cent for them. “This can only be a solution if the plastic made from renewable raw materials is really identical with the plastic made from crude oil, as is possible with polyethylene (PE), for example. If this is not the case, however, we have two different starting materials, but only one recycling process. This cannot work,” warns Dr. Dirk Textor, chairman of the bvse Plastics Recycling Association. Textor therefore pleads for all innovations in the packaging sector to first check with the recycling industry whether there are expedient recycling possibilities. “It makes no sense to sell new solutions as innovations and in the end it’s not sustainability but only incineration,” says Textor


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Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH – Environmental Action Germany) criticises Aldi’s initiative. A higher price would be necessary in order to stop the mass consumption of single-use bags,. Barbara Metz, Deputy Managing Director of the DUH, explained: “If Aldi is serious about environmental protection, then the disposable bags should cost at least 22 Cents, because this amount would actually mean the end for this particularly short-lived product. Anything else is just attention-seeking. In the end, it will also be important to offer and advertise reusable net bags as alternatives and to promote their use with incentives.”

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