The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and the Boomerang Alliance have released an independent audit on supermarket plastic use that found Aldi to be at the forefront of surveyed supermarkets’ efforts to reduce plastic packaging.

Although Aldi was listed as the top retailer, it only received a 20% score, indicating that it, among the other listed supermarkets, still requires significant progress.

Coles secured the second spot with a 15% score while Woolworths claimed third place with a 10% score, according to the ‘Unwrapped’ audit report.

Metcash, the company that runs a franchise with IGA and Foodland stores, lagged behind significantly with a 3% score.

Claimed to be the first independent audit on supermarket plastic use, Unwrapped was prepared by the AMCS and the Boomerang Alliance by utilising data from public reports and volunteer shopper surveys to evaluate the supermarkets’ 2022 performance across five categories.

The methodology was created with the support of environmental groups, including Clean Up Australia, WWF Australia, and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

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The majority of the score (80%) was determined by three key practical measures, plastic reduction (40%), recycling (20%), and reusables (20%).

The remaining 20% consisted of two policy categories, comprising transparency (10%) and policy, planning, and governance (10%).

AMCS plastics campaign manager Shane Cucow said: “Plastic has been around for only about 80 years, yet our oceans are already choking in plastic, killing our marine life and even turning up in our food.

“An estimated 11 million tonnes of plastic waste enter our oceans every year, and that figure is expected to triple by 2040 if we don’t take action.

“Plastic packaging is one of the worst offenders, with soft plastics, food packaging and beverage litter accounting for nearly 70% of all plastics found by Clean Up Australia volunteers, it’s time to get serious about cutting back on soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle packaging.”