top of page

Lidl's eco-milestone: halving food waste and slicing plastic use

Discount supermarket chain Lidl has made significant strides in its environmental initiatives, particularly in reducing food waste and plastic packaging.

Since 2016, the company has successfully cut down its food waste by an impressive 43%, keeping it on track to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030. This achievement was highlighted in Lidl's latest 'Good Food' report, which outlines the progress towards its key environmental targets.

In its ongoing efforts to combat food waste, Lidl has provided over six million meals to charities in 2022 alone. The supermarket has also prevented nearly 9,000 tonnes of food from being discarded by selling 1.7 million 'Too Good To Waste' boxes. These boxes, priced at £1.50, contain 5kg of fruit and vegetables that may be slightly damaged or discoloured but are still perfectly edible.

Lidl's commitment to sustainability extends to reducing plastic waste. Currently, 95% of its own-brand packaging is recyclable, reusable, renewable, or refillable. The store has introduced several changes, such as increasing the availability of loose produce, offering compostable fruit and vegetable bags that double as food waste caddy liners, and implementing new recyclable packaging for mushrooms. Since 2017, Lidl has reduced the amount of plastic packaging in its own-brand products by 29%, with a goal to reach 40% by 2025.

The retailer is also actively working with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions, which constitute over 90% of Lidl's total carbon footprint. This includes collaborations like funding water catchment projects with The Rivers Trust to mitigate supply chain risks. As of February 2023, 455 of Lidl's British fruit and vegetable suppliers were LEAF Marque certified, ensuring robust water and nature conservation plans. The company aims to have all its suppliers certified by the end of the year.

Mark Newbold, Lidl GB's senior CSR manager, emphasised the company's dedication to operating in a manner that benefits people, producers, and the planet, saying: “At Lidl, we strive to work in a way that benefits our people, our producers, and the planet. This means finding new, more sustainable ways to deliver on quality and value for shoppers.

“Little changes make a big difference – and we know they matter to our customers. From making more of our packaging recyclable and incorporating circularity into how we operate, to increasing the amount of food we donate to our charity partners – we’re proud to have made such positive strides and we’re doubling down in order to meet the ambitious goals we have set.”

Lidl's journey towards sustainability is not just about meeting targets; it's about changing the narrative in retail. The company's initiatives are a testament to its belief that responsible retailing can coexist with affordability and quality. This approach is increasingly resonating with consumers who are more environmentally conscious and demand more from their retailers.


bottom of page