BERLIN, June 11 (Xinhua) -- German discount supermarket chain Aldi announced on Tuesday to stop offering smaller disposable plastic bags that are mainly used for vegetables and fruit in order to incentivize consumers to act in more sustainable way.
From summer 2019 onwards, the only plastic bags available in all branches of Aldi in Germany would be made from renewable raw materials and would cost 1 euro cent (0.013 U.S. dollars)
According to Aldi, the new fruit and vegetable bags will be made from a by-product of sugar cane production.
"As part of our packaging mission, we are continuously looking for more environmentally friendly solutions. The advantage of the bag is that no crude oil is used in production," explained Rayk Mende, managing Director of Corporate Responsibility and Quality Assurance at ALDI Nord.
Both Aldi Sued and Aldi Nord, the two parts of the German discount supermarket, also announced on Tuesday to be offering reusable nets from autumn 2019.
According to Aldi, the washable net is particularly hard-wearing and offers sufficient space for transporting fruits and vegetables but customers could also use reusable nets from other suppliers for their purchases.
"We would be delighted if other retailers join us. Because only with an industry-wide solution can we take a big step forward in reducing the plastic bag," commented Kristina Bell, Group Buying Director Quality Assurance and Corporate Responsibility for Aldi.
Together with other German retailers, Aldi had already introduced a fee on larger disposable plastic bags at the cashier around three years ago. Aldi announced that consumption of plastic bags has fallen by two thirds since then.
Putting a price on large plastic bags "clearly prompted consumers to change their minds." Bell added.