German Aldi supermarkets ban single-use bags

German Aldi supermarkets ban single-use bags

Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd will no longer use bags with a single use. Customers can buy reusable bags at the cash register, but nothing else.

Pioneer in Germany

The discount chain says its decision makes it a German pioneer, because it is the first major food retailer to ban bags with a single use. The ban is for all disposable bags available at its cash registers. It will still provide a new, sustainable bag, 80 % made from recycled material. The bag, one of the cheapest reusable bags, is larger and more stable than its disposable cousin and is called “Blauwe Engel” (blue angel) in Germany.

The new customer bag will be available in Aldi Sud’s Munich region and in Aldi Nord’s Berlin region from October onward. Gradually, every other German Aldi store will provide these bags as well. In order to stimulate environment-friendly reusable bags, Aldi will ask 10 to 20 cents for the bag and will remove every other disposable bag. It will only be able to ban every disposable bag by the end of next year due to supply contracts.

"We are consciously taking another step and will not only ban plastic disposable bags, but also the many types of paper bags. These require more energy and water to produce and do not last as long and are not a sustainable alternative at this point”, Aldi Sud Group Buying Director for Quality and Corporate Responsibility Philipp Skorning said. The group is working on sustainable entrepreneurship, having released its first sustainability report last year. It also published a progress report several weeks ago, detailing its most important sustainability efforts in 2016.


Both Belgium and the Netherlands have already taken steps to limit the use of plastic disposable bags, with fees for those that still want to use these bags. Both countries are also implementing increasingly strict legislation that should promote the use of reusable bags.