The classic Aussie “popper” is getting a glow-up — ALDI is set to fit its entire drinks range with paper straws only, in a bid to remove more than 40 million plastic straws annually.
ALDI is the first Australian supermarket to make the move, but just let this sink in: it could divert 18 tonnes of single-use plastic from landfill every year – that’s roughly two kilos per hour.
Most of us have grown up with poppers in our school lunchboxes since the 1980s, but sadly that’s contributed to more than 140 billion plastic straws ending up in Australian landfill over the past 40 years.
ALDI shoppers in NSW will see the new paper straws on Westcliff Tropical Fruit Drink packs from this month, followed by a nationwide rollout of paper straws across the whole beverage carton range in 2022.
“It’s crucial to us to deliver the best quality at the most affordable prices. When we can do that, make a change that benefits the planet and doesn’t cost our customers more, it’s a no-brainer,” Dan Warner, ALDI Australia’s buying director for drinks, said.
Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to break down.
While the sleeve around the new paper straws in ALDI will remain plastic in the interim, it is able to be recycled through soft plastic recycling programs like REDcycle.
In 2020, ALDI decided to remove single-use plastic tableware from stores, saving 322 tonnes of plastic from landfill, as well as replacing plastic-stemmed cotton buds with a paper-stemmed version.
The overall goal for ALDI is to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging across its own-label range by 25% by 2025. At the same time, by 2025, the supermarket chain aims to send zero waste to landfill, including zero food waste by 2023. And to top it off, this year the company announced it’s 100% powered with renewable electricity.
You can help speed things up even more by using straws made from more sustainable materials, and ditching plastic cutlery for one of these slick reusable sets instead. Just remember to clean your reusable straws properly, trust us.