Aldi Ireland has said it is removing all outer cardboard boxes from its fresh poultry, pork, beef, lamb and select fish lines.

It said the move will mean over 2,300 tonnes less packaging will be used in Aldi stores each year, saving an equivalent of 4.2 million kg in carbon emissions each year.

Aldi said its fresh meat, fish, and poultry ranges will be transported to stores in reusable crates which will be cleaned and returned to the producer, eliminating the need for cardboard boxes on shelves.

As part of its long-term plastic and packaging reduction programme, Aldi is working to reduce plastic packaging on all products by 50% by 2025, and to ensure 100% of Aldi’s own-label packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of next year.

Since introducing the programme, Aldi has removed more than 2,150 tonnes of virgin plastic from its 147 Irish stores, in addition to replacing almost 930 tonnes of non-recyclable material with recyclable alternatives.

Aldi is also set to introduce new energy-saving chiller doors to its new and newly refurbished stores.

It said the move will reduce each store’s energy consumption by approximately 20%, equivalent to a carbon emissions saving of up to 20 tonnes per store each year.

"The new reduced packaging and energy initiatives announced today highlight the importance of not just making our products more eco-friendly, but also the way we present and transport them in stores," said John Curtin, Aldi Group Buying Director.

"We are looking at every aspect of our supply chain to find packaging and energy savings and to make sure when shopping at Aldi it’s as green as possible," he added.