Lidl has become the first retailer in Northern Ireland to announce the introduction of reusable fruit and vegetable bags across stores nationwide.
Available from September, the reusable fruit and vegetable bags are designed to give customers a sustainable choice and reduce plastic use and waste in the long term.
The ‘Green Bags’, priced at 69p for two, provide customers with an affordable, reusable alternative to single-use, small fruit and vegetable bags.
Deirdre Ryan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Lidl, commented: “We are delighted to be the first Northern Irish retailer to introduce reusable bags for loose fruit and veg for our customers. This announcement is the latest step on our journey to tackle the important issue of plastic waste.
“We have already implemented several plastic waste reduction initiatives such as our in-store recycling stations, ending the sale of many single use plastic items and the removal of unrecyclable black plastics from numerous categories across our range.
“We’re proud to be leading the Northern Irish retail sector in implementing sustainable initiatives that benefit our environment, our communities and our customers.
“We’re grateful for our customers’ support on this journey and hope that they support this latest initiative as we continue to respond to their concerns about plastic waste.”
This move is one of many steps that Lidl is taking as part of its plastic reduction strategy, with a specific focus on loose lines, such as fruit and vegetables, which accounts for approximately 20 per cent of Lidl’s overall product range.
Last month Lidl became the first Northern Irish retailer to offer customers in-store recycling stations nationwide to reduce packaging waste bought in-store.
In 2018, Lidl discontinued the sale of single-use plastic items, including drinking straws, disposable plates, cups and cutlery, with plastic-stemmed cotton buds next on the list in the coming months.
The single-use plastic items are being replaced with biodegradable alternatives, saving 2.75 million straws and 1.8 million plastic plates and cups and 75.1 million individual cotton buds from Lidl stores across the island of Ireland.
Lidl has also committed to several ambitious plastic reduction targets, including using 20 per cent less plastic packaging by 2022 and having 100 per cent recyclable own-brand packaging by 2025.
For the second consecutive year the company confirmed it had achieved ‘zero waste to landfill’ and announced an end to microbeads in all cosmetic and household ranges.