Albert Heijn and ALDI say “no more plastic bags” for fruit and veg (finally!)

Remember when we talked about Albert Heijn’s plans to ditch single-use plastic bags for fruit and veggies a few weeks ago? Well, it’s finally happening.

The supermarket is banning free plastic bags from all its stores. On Monday, single-use plastic bags were removed in the first 20 Albert Heijn locations. 

The largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands wants free plastic bags gone from all its (nearly a thousand) stores by the end of this year, reports NU.nl

What comes instead?

Single-use plastic bags will be replaced with reusable nylon bags. Those will be given out at Albert Heijn stores for free this week. From next week onwards, customers can buy them for 30 cents. 

ALDI — which has about 500 stores across the country — will be joining Albert Heijn in the endeavour to reduce the use of plastic. The supermarket is replacing free plastic bags with bio-based ones.

The change will be gradual. “We first use up the stock of the old plastic bags,” says a spokesperson for ALDI. After that, consumers will only be able to buy bags made from more sustainable materials. These will cost one cent per bag. 

What are other stores doing?

The Dutch supermarket PLUS sees free plastic bags as a service to the customer. However, they do offer paper bags as an alternative.

Jumbo gives consumers the choice between free plastic bags, reusable nylon bags, or paper bags in some stores. Lidl already introduced its reusable nylon bag, called the Lidl Green Bag, back in 2018.

But don’t go thinking that these plans to gradually remove single-use plastic bags from Dutch supermarkets are going to save the world just yet. While they all sound nice, there’s so much more that supermarkets can do to reduce plastic consumption, food waste, and more.

Are you happy to see plastic bags gone from Albert Heijn and ALDI stores? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Anna Tarazevich/Pexels

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.

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