Discount supermarket Lidl has announced that they are removing black plastic from their packaging by the end of September, due to the levels of waste created by the wrapping.
Black plastic cannot be detected by recycling sorting systems, or recycled in the UK and consequently ends up in landfill.
Lidl CEO Christian Härtnagel said: “We want to create a major shift in the way that packaging and plastics are used, to ensure that these resources are recovered and retained, eradicating plastic waste and moving us towards a truly circular system in the long term.
“We know our business and the wider industry needs to take big steps to achieve this; that’s why we have a set clear and ambitious targets, not only to ensure that our packaging is completely recyclable, but that we are driving demand for this material by driving recycled content.”
The move is expected to reduce their waste by 50 tonnes each year, and this number is thought to increase, too. The black plastic and other harmful types of packaging will be replaced with reusable, recyclable or refillable containers across all of their own-brand items.
Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner, Julian Kirby, said: “Getting rid of black plastic is appositive first step. It seems ridiculous that so much plastic is still being produced which can’t even be recycled.
“But let’s not just switch one plastic for another. Our fruit and vegetables don’t need to come smothered in a plastic jacket. Ultimately, to end the scourge of plastic pollution clogging up our oceans, we need to get rid of most plastic altogether.”
Senior oceans campaigners for Greenpeace UK, Louise Edge, commented: “Supermarkets are the place where a lot of the throwaway plastic filling up our homes comes from, so it’s good to see more of them are responding to the public’s concern by taking action.
“Black plastic is one of the most problematic forms of plastic you can find on supermarket shelves, and Lidl are doing the right thing by phasing it out.”