A major change to fruit juice drink boxes in ALDI supermarkets has sparked a mixed reaction on social media.
Sharing on a popular Facebook group, an ALDI shopper revealed that the supermarket’s Westfield tropical fruit drinks – which are sold in packs of six – now come with paper straws.
“No plastic, paper straws. Good on you ALDI,” the customer wrote on the Aldi Fans Australia page.
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The switch to paper straws is part of ALDI’s commitment to reducing plastic waste in stores. The supermarket says the initiative will remove more than 40 million plastic straws from landfills every year.
In March, ALDI also announced that it was testing cardboard labels on various loaves of bread, replacing traditional plastic clips.
But while many applauded ALDI’s decision to introduce paper straws, others criticized the move and vowed never to buy the product again.
Many claim that paper straws are ‘boring’ and become ‘soggy’ and ‘useless’ when used.
“Something I won’t buy. Paper straws give me goosebumps, add an autistic child and that’s a no for us,” one said.
Another added: ‘I understand the environment better but they are such a choking hazard for kids when they get soggy and kids chew on them! Especially for very young children.
A third said: “They get soggy after two minutes it’s so annoying.”
Added one more: “My kids are going to love the soggy straws. Thank you ALDI.
Another wrote: “This is disgusting. A soggy drinking straw is becoming the norm.
Other critics suggested the decision was “puzzling”.
Another replied: “I’m sorry, I can’t stand paper straws, and with so many other USELESS plastic packaging items being produced, I don’t understand the obsession with removing plastic straws. .
“I now refuse to get takeout from McDonald’s and will only go to Hungry Jacks, simply because I can’t drink McDonald’s drinks anymore (unless I remembered to take my reusable straw).”
However, dozens of others hit back at the criticism, defending ALDI’s decision.
“Good ALDI!” replied a Facebook user.
Another wrote: “Anyone seriously concerned about plastic straws really should use a reusable drink bottle.
“For children who prefer “straws”, many gourds come with them. Wash and reuse. Not only reduces plastic, but waste in general.
A third said: ‘I like the way people are continuing on this. It’s pure laziness. If you don’t like paper straws, buy your own and put them in your bag or car. Or use the one built into your face.
When one reviewer said “paper straws suck,” one supporter replied, “So does environmental destruction!”
ALDI announced plans to replace “popper” straws from plastic to paper in December 2021, confirming that the rollout would be nationwide throughout 2022.
“Juice boxes are a regular in children’s lunch boxes and we are extremely proud to start offering poppers with less plastic at the same low price,” said ALDI Australia’s purchasing manager at the time. Dan Warner.
“Parents on a mission to reduce household waste and its impact on the environment can now have peace of mind knowing that the drink in their child’s lunchbox contains less plastic, and they’re not sacrificing the convenience nor worry about the impact on their back pockets.
“It is crucial for us to provide the best quality at the most affordable prices. When we can do that, make change that benefits the planet and doesn’t cost our customers more, it’s a no-brainer.
It is believed that ALDI’s switch to paper straws is expected to divert 18 tonnes of single-use plastic from landfill each year, which equates to two kilos per hour.
ALDI says its new straws have undergone extensive quality assurance testing and have been measured for both integrity and durability. The paper straw is able to puncture packets and maintain a solid shape without softening.
Existing beverage cartons are recyclable and although the sleeve around the straw remains plastic in the meantime, it can be recycled through soft plastic recycling programs like REDcycle.