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ALDI Is Joining Other Grocery Chains in Banning This From Stores

This item will be completely eliminated from ALDI locations by the end of 2023.

If you've visited an ALDI store, you know it provides a grocery shopping experience unlike any other. From the quarter deposit needed to rent a cart to the self-bagging process, the discount supermarket chain is constantly finding innovative ways to operate efficiently and keep costs low. In addition, ALDI has been at the forefront of green practices and even gained recognition in 2021 as the most sustainable grocery store in America from Brightly, an eco-friendly shopping and community platform.

And now it is joining a few other grocery chains in banning one item from its stores. In a recent press release, CEO Jason Hart revealed the chain's plan to completely eliminate plastic shopping bags from all ALDI stores nationwide by the end of next year.

Related: These Are Costco's Most Popular Items Right Now

"We have already removed plastic bags from nearly 500 stores with the goal to phase them out from all 2,200 locations by the end of 2023," Hart shared in the announcement. "We are thrilled to make this monumental pledge in support of our planet which will remove 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation each year."

This initiative builds on the progress ALDI has already made just within the past year. The retailer reports that during 2021 it diverted 74% of its total operational waste, installed its first wind turbine along with solar panels on additional stores and distribution centers, and made modifications so that now over 62% of its ALDI-exclusive packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable. It's not alone, though.

aldi produce
Ilze_Lucero / Shutterstock

Wegmans–operating in ​Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New York–is giving ALDI a run for its money with a plan to eliminate its use of plastic bags by the end of this year, but these two grocery companies are not alone in this mission.

A number of other nationwide grocery chains including Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, Albertsons, H-E-B, Walgreens, CVS, and more have joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative–a collaboration launched by the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag with a goal to find inventive alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

With this latest commitment from ALDI comes other impressive sustainability goals–including massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, plastic packaging, and food waste–which the company is confident in its ability to achieve.

"Being a leader means we don't just throw out lofty goals without holding ourselves accountable," Hart included in the press release. "Today's plastic bag announcement is just one piece of a much larger Corporate Responsibility update we're proud to have prepared for you, our loyal fans."

In other news, ALDI Just Won A Major Award For These 7 Beloved Foods.

Megan Hageman
Megan is a freelance writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Megan