Lidl UK is set to eliminate black plastic from its entire fruit and vegetable range by the end of the month as part of its plans to make 100% of its own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025.
The move, which will cover products such as mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower, is expected to result in estimated savings of 50t of black plastic waste annually.
Recycling black plastic packaging is a challenge in the UK as the existing sorting systems used for recycling cannot detect it.
Lidl UK is also planning to remove black plastic from its fresh meat, fish and poultry range by August next year.
Lidl Commercial Board director Ryan McDonnell said: “This significant move away from black plastic demonstrates our dedication to tackling this important topic.
“We recognise the current challenge that black plastic presents to the recycling industry, which is why we have made it our priority to remove it from our fresh ranges.”
Lidl continues to test and trial more loose fruit and vegetables across its fresh produce range.
The supermarket chain also noted that it is working on trialling the removal of packaging from onions, cabbages and lettuces.
Responding to Lidl’s announcement, Greenpeace UK senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge said: “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.
“This is a clear signal to both our government and other major retailers that we don’t have to wait decades before getting rid of problem plastic.”
In March, Lidl announced a slew of measures to tackle plastic waste, including reduction of plastic packaging volumes by 20% by 2022.