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Brief Published: 23 Mar 2020

Lidl Uses Ocean Plastic for Food Packaging

Lidl is launching packaging made from ocean plastic

German grocery chain Lidl has become the first supermarket in the UK to introduce food packaging made with ocean-bound plastic waste collected from beaches across South East Asia. This initiative will save 60 tonnes of plastic from the ocean each year, equivalent to 2.5 million plastic bottles, and put Lidl ahead in the sustainability stakes.

The packaging has been developed by UK seafood company Copernus, British waste-disposal company Sharpak and London sustainable-materials consultancy Bantam Materials, in collaboration with Lidl. It consists of 80% recycled plastic, with 30% of that coming from the ocean.  

The waste-derived packaging will be initially used for 13 products across Lidl’s fresh fish range, with plans to roll it out across all of its fish products by the end of 2020. 

This packaging solution forms part of Lidl’s wider sustainability goals, which include ensuring half of all its packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025 and to reduce its single-use plastic packaging by 20% by the end of 2022.

Plastic still remains a sticking point for many major supermarket chains. Despite myriad initiatives by UK supermarkets to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in-store, 2019 saw the total use per year rise to over 900k (Environmental Investigation Agency, 2019).

For more on eco-packaging design, read Packaging Futures 2019/20 and Alcohol Packaging for the Sober Era. 

Read also Supermarket of the Future: Lessons in Eco-Ethical Excellence for a deeper dive into how supermarkets are dealing with wider sustainability issues.