Lidl has become the first supermarket in the UK to launch new packaging made from “ocean bound plastic”.
The plastic will be collected from beaches in South East Asia, which - according to the retailer’s research - is where 80-90% of plastic packaging enters the ocean.
The plan will see discarded plastic picked up, recycled and turned into resin.
The plastic the retailer collects would have otherwise ended up in the ocean.
The supermarket chain will launch the new initiative with 13 fresh fish products from 30 March.
The new packaging will be available in all stores UK wide from this date with plans to extend it across the whole range by the end of 2020.
According to Lidl, the plan will eliminate 60 tonnes of plastic from the ocean each year. To put that in perspective, it’s the equivalent of 2.5 million water bottles.
This forms part of a larger sustainability plan from the company. Its plan is to ensure half of its packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025.
It also aims to reduce plastic by 20% by 2022.
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The brand’s accelerated initiative has been backed by strong research in the area.
Georgina Hall, Lidl’s head of corporate social responsibility, said that research had found there would be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
She said: “We are proud to be the first UK supermarket introducing packaging incorporating plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean, helping to tackle the problem directly as part of our commitment to prevent plastics ending up as waste.
“We are actively looking to extend this innovative solution to other product lines to help reduce the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans and keep our environments healthy.”
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Lidl isn’t the only brand looking to make more sustainable changes.
Boots has recently launched a pair of tights made entirely by plastic bottles, 68,000 plastic bottles to be exact.
The impressive initiative is a first of its kind from any high-street retailer.
In the sustainable period wear realms, Sainsbury’s recently launched a range of reusable period underwear.
Despite brands making sustainable changes, there have been debates online about whether the changes are coming quickly enough.
With worrying statistics - like the more plastic than fish by 2050 one - emerging every day, only time will tell.