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📰 Recent green claims news

🔍 Deep dive

Aldi’s new numerical green claims


Image courtesy of Aldi

The gist: Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have introduced product packaging made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials to enhance sustainability. However, instead of using the typically broad, vague, green-claims jargon, Aldi opted for numerical details as evidence of their sustainability efforts.

The specifics:

  • Aldi is now using recycled plastic from their yellow bag in the Tandil 3-in-1 Active Caps and Color Caps’ detergent packaging.
  • New packaging consists of 92 percent recycled polypropylene.
  • The rest consists of fillers and additives necessary to stabilise and process the material.
  • Based on the 2022 sales volume of Aldi Nord and Süd, the new packaging will result in annual savings of around 60 tonnes of new plastic.

The why: Aldi’s approach sets a new standard for transparency and credibility in sustainable packaging. By showcasing actual percentages of PCR content, Aldi avoids the common practice of making vague and unrealistic claims of products being 100% recyclate and instead establishes a more accurate and trustworthy representation of their environmental efforts.

The soundbites:

  • “Our goal was packaging that directly reuses plastics from the yellow bag or bin and thus closes the material cycle. With this, we are taking another important step towards making ALDI’s private label packaging more environmentally friendly.” Alexander Markov, Managing Director Logistics & Services at ALDI SÜD
  • “... Anyone who prides itself on making their packaging from PP or HDPE or LDPE and using absolutely no additives to process it into packaging materials not only loses credibility but also ensures premature disintegration of the valuable raw materials. Perhaps this press release is the beginning of a new era …” Carolina E. Schweig, Sustainability and Packaging Expert at Stiftung Warentest

The take away: Assurance quality managers, packagers, and marketers should take note of Aldi’s new packaging as an example of transparency and accurate representation in sustainable packaging claims and apply their approach of providing specific percentages of PCR content as a best practice example for their sustainability initiatives.

⚖️ Regulation explained

EU Green Claims Directive

On 22 March 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal on the substantiation and communication of environmental claims called the Green Claims Directive.

We will note some of the key takeaways below, but for a more in-depth analysis of the directive, including role-specific insights and answers to 25 of the most frequently asked questions, visit our Green Claims FAQ page.

The new EU Green Claims Directive, simplified:

  • Stricter criteria for substantiating environmental claims, ensuring accuracy and credibility.
  • Discouragement of vague terms like "eco-friendly," promoting clarity and specific definitions.
  • Requirement to disclose potential negative impacts alongside positive claims, fostering transparency.
  • Applicable to various sectors and marketing channels, ensuring consistent guidelines across the EU.
  • Non-compliance may result in penalties, fines, or enforcement measures, safeguarding consumer trust.

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