Lidl uses plastic bag charge to help Keep Britain Tidy

German discount supermarket chain Lidl has today (19 February) pledged to donate a minimum of £1m raised from its 5p plastic bag charge to charity, in a bid to educate children on litter prevention.

Working with waste and litter organisation Keep Britain Tidy and cancer support charity CLIC Sargent, Lidl will engage with children to fund litter-picking campaigns and local parks as well as developing resources for the national Eco-Schools programme, which helps educate students on sustainability.

Lidl UK chief executive Ronny Gottschlich said: “We take our environmental responsibility as a grocery retailer very seriously. Despite having always charged for our carrier bags, we acknowledge that there is a lot of work still to be done in achieving our long-term vision of helping to protect the country’s stunning natural heritage.

“We are proud to announce this new partnership and hope that the work we’ll be doing alongside one another will encourage people to think twice before littering.”

Lidl has pledged to donate at least £1m over a 12-month period, with proceeds going to CLIC Sargent, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy. As part of the campaign, Lidl carrier bags will also be rebranded for the first time since the firm entered UK retail market in 1994.

Children will be encouraged by Keep Britain Tidy to capture how litter impacts the world around them through a photograph competition to be launched nationwide later this year.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “We know that the majority of children and young people do care about their environment and don’t drop litter.

“The support of Lidl, through the donation of the proceeds from the single-use bag charge, will help us engage with those young people and create a generation of young people who not only care about their environment but are also equipped to do something to help.”

The launch was confirmed at a celebration event in London last night where nature photographer and TV presenter Chris Packham unveiled a range of images that the children can use as inspiration for their competition.

Green and yellow

Lidl’s latest CSR development comes just weeks after the supermarket announced that it would only sell bananas that were sourced from farms that are either Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade-certified. By the end of 2016, the majority of Lidl’s banana supply (88%) will come from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms, with the remaining bananas coming from Fairtrade Foundation farms.

Lidl becomes the second major supermarket to use revenue raised through the plastic bag levy to fund social enterprises. Last month, edie reported that Asda will be using the money it generated from the 5p charge to fund a ground-breaking new academy in Scotland, aimed at increasing the availability of supermarket products that have a positive social or environmental impact.

Matt Mace

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