Aldi to charge 'symbolic' cent for produce bags in Germany

Berlin (AFP) –


Supermarket giant Aldi said Tuesday it is replacing free plastic produce bags in its German stores for ones made from recyclable material -- sold for a "symbolic" single cent -- to go more green.

"From summer of 2019, bags made from a renewable raw material will be available for one cent in all branches," Aldi said in a statement.

"The advantage of the bag is that no crude oil is used in production," replaced with a by-product of sugar cane manufacturing, Aldi added.

The supermarket group -- which is divided into north and south branches in Germany -- has seen sales of plastic carrier bags drop by two thirds in recent years since retailers started charging customers for them.

However, consumption of free, thin, transparent plastic bags for fruit, vegetables and baked goods has only slightly decreased, according to the German government.

"The figures confirm that the pricing of plastic bags has visibly prompted consumers to rethink," said Aldi group buying director Kristina Bell.

"We will follow a similar principle with the symbolic cent for our disposable fruit and vegetable bags."

Aldi has also announced that it is trialing biodegradable and paper bags at its UK stores.

Worldwide, the Aldi group operates over 10,000 stores, around 4,000 of which are in Germany.