Lidl Ireland has introduced new packaging for its strawberry range, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to promoting a circular economy.
This industry-first packaging update will result in 9.3 tonnes of plastic, or the equivalent of 375,000 bottles, being prevented from entering the ocean during this Irish strawberry season. With Lidl's fish packaging update announced last year, the retailer is on course to prevent one million plastic bottles from entering the ocean this year.
Once again leading the industry, Lidl's Deluxe Strawberries and 250g Strawberries will now be 100 percent recyclable and made using at least 30 percent Prevented Ocean Plastic (POP). Ocean-bound plastic is found within 50km (30 miles) of an ocean coastline or significant waterway that feeds into the ocean.
Lidl has partnered with several Irish strawberry suppliers, including Kearns Fruit Farm in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, to introduce this innovative new packaging to the Irish market. This collaborative effort underscores Lidl's commitment to fostering a sustainable future and highlights our collective responsibility in combating plastic waste and promoting a circular economy.
In 2022, Lidl became the first retailer in Ireland to introduce POP packaging for its fresh fish products by collaborating with Irish supplier Keohane Seafoods. Significantly, this initiative prevents the release of almost 19 tonnes of plastic into our oceans annually, equating to 750,000 bottles.
The innovative design of Lidl's new strawberry packaging provides protection and allows for water drainage, reducing the risk of spoilage.
Using a single material in the packaging enables easier recycling, as the punnet and bubble pad were made from two different materials. Significantly, the new packaging does not affect the shelf life of the strawberries. Customers can enjoy the freshest produce whilst also knowing they are selecting a more sustainable choice by shopping at Lidl.
Speaking about the initiative, Alan Archibold, Senior Buyer at Lidl Ireland, said by introducing POP packaging to our strawberry range, Lidl was taking another significant step forward in its journey towards a more sustainable future.
"Our commitment to reducing plastic waste aligns with our vision to offer responsibly sourced products while safeguarding the health of our oceans. We're delighted to partner again with a longstanding Irish supplier, Kearns Fruit Farm, on this innovative initiative that is set to impact our environment," said Archibold.
Jimmy Kearns, Owner of Kearns Fruit Farm, concluded that the farm was proud to partner with Lidl and provide Irish consumers with innovative strawberry packaging that includes recycled ocean-bound plastic, a first in the Irish retail market.
"We look forward to future collaboration with Lidl to further reduce environmental impact."
With this packaging innovation, Lidl demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and empowers customers to make responsible choices. By selecting Lidl's strawberry range, shoppers actively contribute to the crucial mission of protecting marine life.
Lidl's commitments to a circular economy go beyond the strawberry range, aligning with its overarching goal that 100 percent of its plastic packaging will be designed for maximum recyclability and that 50 percent will be made using recycled materials by 2025.