Lidl - Replace Plastic Packaging with Sustainable Alternatives

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As part of our transition year class on sustainability, we are trying to reduce plastic waste in local shops. In Ireland alone, we produce nearly 300,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste annually. We want to change that.

We want to reduce plastic waste in Lidl, especially from single-use plastics. This single-use plastic can come in the form of pre-packaged goods or disposable bags for items from the bakery or loose fruit or vegetables. Our statistics show that 65% of Temple Carrig students visit Lidl more than once a week. The majority of these students use some form of disposable packaging or a disposable bag. We also want to make it more appealing for people to buy products with less packaging. At the moment, some plastic-free products, such as loose fruit and vegetables, cost more or the same amount to buy as their pre-packaged alternatives. Because of this, many people choose to buy pre-packaged items.

Each year, we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic worldwide. In Ireland, we only recycle 34% of plastic. None of this plastic is biodegradable. It will never disappear. Instead, it will break down into microplastics, small pieces of plastic, less than 5 mm in size, that can have bad effects on wildlife as well as people. Plastic doesn’t just affect animals, it affects us and the environment too. Creating plastic releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, speeding up the rate at which global warming is happening. If we keep producing plastic at the current rate, it will be impossible to stop the Earth from warming by more than 1.5 degrees. If the Earth warms by even 2 degrees it will result in consequences such as sea levels rising by approximately half a metre.

We aren’t asking that you stop using all plastic packaging. We ask that you stop using single-use plastics/bags in the bakery and fresh fruit/vegetable sections. Alternatives could be re-using cardboard boxes for fruit or using paper bags in the bakery, for example. We respectfully request you to take action now and limit the damage to our environment.