Lidl GB, the British branch of German discount supermarket chain Lidl, has made a commitment to eliminating two billion pieces of plastic from its stores by the end of next year.

The initiative will contribute to the company’s strategy to remove plastic waste and support ongoing global plastic reduction targets.

The target was set after Lidl GB announced it had eliminated more than one billion pieces of plastic from its stores.

The retailer removed more than 24 million plastic trays and punnets from its fruit and vegetable ranges and up to 25 million plastic lids from its dairy and yoghurt ranges.

Lidl GB also eliminated almost 19 million plastic tags from its fruit and vegetable lines, as well as 3.5 million pieces of plastic packaging for fresh flowers.

By the end of this year, the company seeks to take away 1.5 billion pieces of plastic.

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Lidl GB CEO Christian Härtnagel said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to reach this significant milestone, which demonstrates our commitment to tackling excessive plastic waste and working collaboratively with all of our suppliers.

“We recognise, however, there is still more to do in this area, which is why we are pushing to go further by removing even more pieces of plastic from our stores and packaging over the next two years and rolling out our leading ocean-bound plastic packaging across more and more categories in our stores.”

This initiative is part of Lidl’s commitment to making all its own-brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025.

The company reached its goal of making half its packaging from recycled materials this year, four years ahead of schedule.

In January, Lidl Ireland partnered with Graphic Packaging International and Liffey Meats to produce a paperboard tray solution.

The PaperSeal tray is a barrier-lined paperboard alternative to vacuum skin packaging (VSP) initially marketed in Europe.