Lidl nearly cuts food waste by half and plastic packaging by a third

This is based on the retail giant’s fourth ‘Good Food’ report, encompassing progress from March 2021 to February 2023.

The report underscores Lidl’s role in supporting British suppliers, with investment projected to reach £17bn by 2025 in support of local food and farming businesses.

Lidl GB’s senior CSR manager Mark Newbold said: “Little changes make a big difference – and we know they matter to our customers.

“From making more of our packaging recyclable and incorporating circularity into how we operate, to increasing the amount of food we donate to our charity partners – we’re proud to have made such positive strides and we’re doubling down in order to meet the ambitious goals we have set.”

Earlier this year, the retail giant was announced as the first discount supermarket to sign up to WWF’s ‘Retailers’ Commitment for Nature’ initiative, in a bid to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2030.

Since 2016, the company has effectively curtailed its food waste by 43%, driven by the success of its ‘Too Good to Waste’ initiative, which has averted the generation of nearly 9,000 tonnes of food waste.

The initiative also facilitated more than 6 million meals to charities in 2022, surpassing initial targets.

Moreover, as of February this year, Lidl achieved a 45% certification of its British fruit and vegetable suppliers with LEAF Marque, with the anticipation of reaching full certification (100%) by the end of the year. This gold standard in sustainable farming validates that suppliers have established robust plans for water and nature conservation.

Lidl embraces the 4Rs

Lidl GB’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact extends beyond waste management, with 95% of its own-brand packaging now meeting recyclable, reusable, renewable, or refillable criteria.

The retailer is actively involved in carbon reduction initiatives, collaborating with The Rivers Trust to fund water catchment projects and working with suppliers to mitigate carbon emissions in the supply chain.

Furthermore, Lidl has achieved a considerable reduction of almost one-third (29%) in plastic packaging across its own-brand ranges since 2017.

In partnership with Prevented Ocean Plastic, Lidl GB has prevented the equivalent of 15 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean, illustrating a tangible commitment to mitigating plastic pollution.

Looking forward, Lidl GB aims to stand at the forefront of innovation, having trialled smart refills in 2022 and currently assessing its scalability and potential for cross-retailer standardisation.

Furthermore, the retail giant is currently conducting trials of the ‘Eco-Score’ environmental rating for products, in a bid to empower shoppers by providing clear information to make sustainable choices.

According to the company, this marks the first instance of a UK retailer adopting this labelling system.

Comments (1)

  1. Tom Otley says:

    This is good news… but… so much of Lidl’s plastic packaging is not recyclable – and the majority of its stores do not offer the ‘soft plastic’ recycling points that other supermarkets have.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie