In a move that’s more refreshing than finding an extra avocado in your grocery bag, Aldi has officially kissed plastic shopping bags goodbye! That’s right, the discount grocer, known for its no-frills approach (and the quarter you need for a shopping cart), has achieved what some might call a “green miracle.” As of 2023, Aldi has waved farewell to plastic bags in all its 2,300 stores, making it the first major U.S. retailer to do so.
Let’s put that into perspective. That’s about 4,400 tons of plastic each year that won’t be playing hide and seek in our oceans or having a picnic in our parks. That’s a lot of plastic – roughly the weight of 733 elephants or 2,200 cars, give or take a trunk or wheel!
Aldi CEO Jason Hart put it perfectly: “We take our responsibility to lead the industry in sustainability seriously, so our customers don’t have to choose between shopping responsibly and saving money.” It’s like being a superhero for the planet, but instead of a cape, you get a reusable shopping bag.
But wait, there’s more! Aldi isn’t just stopping at bags. The grocer has set its eco-friendly sights on a new goal: converting to natural refrigerants across all locations by 2035. If you thought cutting out plastic bags was cool, this is downright chilly (in the best way). Already, over 600 Aldi stores are chilling with natural refrigerants, and they’re planning to switch to carbon dioxide and propane refrigerants. These are the refrigerant equivalents of a gentle breeze rather than a hurricane in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP).
Starting this year, every new and remodeled Aldi store will be joining the environmentally friendly refrigerant club. Picture opening a fridge door to a gust of green, eco-conscious air – that’s Aldi in 2035. They’ve already opened three stores in Lombard, Ill., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Visalia, Calif., and 14 others in December, all with this nifty green tech.
Aldi’s commitment to being eco-awesome hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2023, the EPA gave Aldi a gold star (well, a GreenChill Store Certification Excellence recognition) for its use of planet-friendly refrigerants. With 109 stores in 17 states achieving platinum certification, Aldi’s refrigeration is cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.
So, the next time you head to Aldi, don’t forget your reusable bags (or that all-important quarter for the cart). You’ll be shopping at a place that’s not just saving you money but also doing its part to save the planet. And who knows, maybe one day, those refrigerators will be so advanced, they’ll be able to tell you what to cook for dinner. One can dream, right?