Circular economy

Circularity & Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable Packaging

Packaging is an indispensable part of our everyday lives, helping us to deliver quality products to our customers. It keeps food fresh, makes it easier to handle, and prevents food waste. It is important to consider the way in which we buy, use, and dispose of packaging. The ALDI SOUTH Group is working towards more sustainable packaging in the areas of material reduction, recyclability, and recycled content.

Packaging is essential to modern living

The evolution of modern packaging has helped our world advance in many ways. Whether it’s plastic, paper, metal, glass, or even wood, packaging holds many benefits to retailers and customers.

Whilst it keeps food fresh for longer, protects it, makes transportation easier, and helps customers make informed choices, we know that packaging requires high levels of raw materials, energy, water, and effective waste management. As a retailer with a high proportion of own-label products, we assume responsibility for our packaging from design to disposal.

Our goals:

  • Our goal is to make 100% of own-brand packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • We will increase the recycled content used in our plastic product packaging. Our goal is to achieve 30% recycled content in our own-brand plastic packaging.
  • We will minimise the material needed for our packaging, wherever possible. We will reduce new plastic made from crude oil and used for product packaging. Our goal is to reduce own-brand packaging material by 15%, and the amount of virgin plastic in our own-brand packaging by 40%.

Reducing our packaging carbon footprint

At the ALDI SOUTH Group, we are working to reduce raw material usage, save energy and improve water intensity, as well as to manage waste correctly. Our first step is to set ambitious goals for our own-brand product packaging to reduce material usage, increase recyclability, and incorporate recycled content. By working with our buying departments, our suppliers, packaging manufacturers, and external partners, we are constantly looking for ways to optimise our current packaging and explore new solutions.

We have set ambitious global targets for packaging, focusing on our own-brand packaging through design optimisation and direct engagements with packaging suppliers. We also work with recyclers to access recycled content and utilise it in our packaging. Some of our specific actions include transitioning to clear caps, setting up in-store collection systems, encouraging home composting, eliminating plastic shopping bags, and removing plastic shrink wraps from bulk items.

  • We are working towards making our own-brand packaging to be recyclable.
  • We are implementing Reuse and Refill systems to help us transition to a circular economy.
  • We are exploring sustainable end-of-life solutions, for example compostable packaging solutions.
  • By increasing the amount of recycled content in plastic packaging, we are saving primary resources.
  • We are minimising packaging and reducing our use of virgin plastic.

Setting the standards with our Recycability Guidelines

ALDI’s International Recyclability Guidelines are a unique set of clear recommendations on sustainable packaging design. They were created to support our suppliers and buying teams to optimise packaging and simplify communication throughout the supply chain. We have made our guideline publicly available to share further insight into national specific recyclability systems. They include comprehensive insights into 18 ALDI SOUTH and ALDI Nord countries’ recycling infrastructure. The guidelines not only adhere to existing standards within each market but anticipates and prepares for future regulatory requirements.


By moving from a throwaway culture to a circular economy, we can produce less waste. It allows us to use resources more efficiently, reduce the consumption of raw materials, and to recover waste by recycling. The ALDI SOUTH Group will take an end-to-end approach to sell more products that support a circular economy.


Towards a circular economy

Recycling materials

Humans are buying, using, and disposing of products at a rate that is faster the planet’s ability to provide the necessary raw materials. At ALDI, we understand the benefits of transitioning from a throwaway-culture to a circular economy as this will help us to work towards net-zero emissions.

Circularity is about designing products and packaging in a sustainable way to keep their materials in circulation for as long as possible. After a product or its packaging reaches its end of life, materials are rarely re-used, and often discarded in landfill. The ALDI SOUTH Group is working with its business partners to ensure that it offers products and packaging that can be used and reused, to limit waste and support a circular economy.

How does ALDI make change?

As a major retailer, we aspire to drive system change and help shape public policy to fully realise the potential of the circular economy model. The ALDI SOUTH Group has adopted the following strategies that support the transition to a circular economy:

  • To make all own-brand packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • To divert 90% of global operational and food waste from landfill and incineration by end 2030.
  • To offer more circular products. By embracing circular economy and eco-design in our processes and products, we aim to reduce waste along our value chain.

Designing products for a circular economy

Circularity is about much more than waste separation and recycling: It begins with the initial design of a product to ensure that it is produced in a way that it is durable, modular, repairable, and recyclable. Up to 80% of a product’s environmental impacts can be determined at the design phase. Being an own-brand retailer, we can therefore influence the circularity of our products starting with the design.

We are actively working to design more circular products by taking up more recycled materials, reducing virgin materials in products and packaging, and avoiding blended fibres within our textiles range. Our efforts include the use of bio-based materials, and we are designing products with a closed-loop approach.

Recycling bottles

Turning operational and food waste into opportunities

We want to take a step forward to a future where nothing goes to waste. The future of food includes products that are circular – designed in a way to be healthy for both people and the planet. Our long-term actions include innovative solutions and partnerships with bio-generators to convert food surplus into pet food, fertiliser, and other forms of bioenergy.

Within our own operations, we are working towards circular solutions for limiting waste. The ALDI SOUTH Group generates a significant amount of food waste per year, offering ample opportunities for recycling and reusing. We work with waste management and recycling companies to close the resource loop, to reuse and recycle as much as possible.