Lidl sets ambitious new targets to tackle plastic waste

Lidl GB has today revealed a new set of bold and ambitious plastic and packaging reduction targets, after it made significant progress against existing pledges. The new goals form part of its strategy to eliminate plastic waste and support the continued reduction of plastic, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Lidl has expanded its commitment to reducing own-label plastic packaging, targeting a 40% reduction by 2025. This follows the retailer being on track to meet its 20% plastic reduction target two years ahead of schedule, having reduced own-label plastic use by 18% since 2017*.

To further advance efforts to cut down on plastic waste, Lidl has also committed to reducing the total amount of own-label packaging by 25% by 2025.

Ryan McDonnell, Chief Commercial Officer at Lidl GB, commented, “Our unique business model allows us to adapt and innovate at pace and we are proud of the progress we have made to date in tackling excessive plastic use.

'Protecting the environment is a responsibility we take very seriously, and we know there is more to do. This is why we have significantly expanded our targets to help accelerate the impact we are having on cutting plastics, and we’re proud to be working collaboratively with our suppliers to find solutions.”

Lidl GB’s ambitious new plastic reduction targets include:
• Doubling the number of refillable and reusable packaging solutions available in stores by 2021
• By 2025, 100% of own label and branded packaging will be recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable, and the discounter has now committed to the majority (90%) of this being complete by 2023. To date it has achieved 80%
• By 2025, 50% of own label packaging to be made of recycled content. To-date, 30% of Lidl’s own label products contain recycled content
• Working collaboratively with branded suppliers to align its plastic reduction goals with their strategies and reserving the right to delist branded products that do not meet those targets

The positive impact of Lidl’s existing commitments is already evident in-store, as the discounter has achieved an absolute reduction in its use of plastic on own-brand products, despite continuing its growth at pace, having opened its 800th store earlier this year.

In recent months, the discounter has begun removing lids from pots of creams and yoghurts, as well as lightweighting the packaging for its Beef, Lamb, Poultry and Milk packaging, saving nearly 400 tonnes of plastic per year. By the end of this year the discounter will have eliminated problematic plastic packaging, including black plastic, PVC and EPS, from its own label core food range. As part of this goal Lidl has already removed over 1,500 tonnes of unrecyclable black plastic from its shelves.

The retailer will also ensure that, by January 2021, 100% of pulp and fibre-based own label packaging in its core food range will be either responsibly sourced from FSC, PEFC, or equivalent, or made using recycled content.

While Lidl GB is committed to reducing plastic and driving sustainable solutions across its product range, it is also focused on ensuring all products remain safe for colleagues and customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.