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Aldi becomes latest retailer to seek more recycling information


The UK’s fourth-largest supermarket Aldi has become the latest major retailer to partner with recycling technology company Polytag to gain traceability of its packaging through the supply chain.

Aldi will trial the deployment of Polytag’s invisible UV tags – printed by self-adhesive label manufacturer Interket UK – onto its packaging from July 2023.

With the company’s readers installed at the Biffa Teeside recycling centre, item-level recycling data will be captured in real time, providing Aldi with insights on the quantity of its packaging that is actually recycled and allowing the retailer to track an item’s journey through the recycling process.

This previously inaccessible packaging lifecycle information will help the supermarket accurately measure and track its performance against its sustainability targets, such as halving its plastic footprint by 2025.

Luke Emery, plastics and packaging director at Aldi UK, said: “We are constantly working to be a more sustainable retailer, so we are excited to see how Polytag’s technology will enable us to access and analyse more data around our packaging lifecycles, and use these learnings to accelerate our progress towards our sustainability goals.”

Polytag’s UV tag reading technology was developed in partnership with researchers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. It has been rolled out by Co-op and Ocado Retail.

Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, added: “Leading retailers in the UK are awake to the fact that the only way we will truly tackle the waste problem in this country is by using data. Gaining access to real-time packaging lifecycle information will be a game-changer, enabling retailers to develop a greater understanding of their products’ journey and make meaningful progress towards their sustainability pledges.”

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