The time has come for the big companies to start doing the heavy lifting when it comes to reducing the staggering amount of plastic waste that has made its way virtually everywhere in the world, from the stomachs of whales to the food we eat and the water we drink.
And while individual choices matter significantly, the packaging industry, the food and drink manufacturers, and the grocery retailers are the ones that must drastically rethink their unsustainable practices. That’s why, lately, it has been encouraging to see some of these entities begin to address the bane of single-use plastics.
Earlier this year, ALDI earned praise for their commitment that all packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. Given that the chain has more than 1,800 U.S. stores in 35 states, and that it serves more than 40 million customers each month – it feels like a big deal. And their work is paying off – ALDI has earned the top place in a new Greenpeace report, Packaging Away the Planet, ranking 20 of the largest U.S. grocery retailers on their efforts to eliminate single-use plastics. ALDI ranked the highest because it has a plastic reduction target, a more comprehensive reduction plan, greater transparency, and a commitment to implement refill and reuse systems.
And while ALDI did the best, it’s all relative; out of a possible score of 100, none of them earned over 35. This being the case, Greenpeace made sure to point out that U.S. supermarkets still have a long way to go to effectively address plastic pollution, particularly the elimination of single-use plastics.