Lidl Issues a Strict Warning About Plastic Bags: "This Comes as a Surprise to Many"

Lidl Issues a Strict Warning About Plastic Bags: "This Comes as a Surprise to Many"

Lidl's sustainability manager has given a recommendation about plastic bag usage and it's not what you might think.

Lidl is a German discount retail chain and one of the largest retail chains in the world. It has a large presence in the EU and is often influenced by EU laws, but these changes are often applied to all stores worldwide. In a recent press release, Lidl's sustainability manager, Annu Puurula, has made recommendations about plastic bags that are picked up at the counter and how they are used. 

While the main purpose of these bags is to carry your groceries home, people often use them as trash bags. While it may seem that this is an ecological act, the press release stated that plastic bags purchased at the checkout counter were in fact less eco-friendly than a typical trash bag taken from a roll.

It was found that the individually sold plastic bags from the checkout contain five times more plastic than those sold as rolls. This probably comes as a surprise to many who treat shopping bags as interchangeable with trash bags. It seems to make sense; you are repurposing a bag that may have a short shelf life. Instead, it is recommended that you reuse these shopping bags for your groceries the next time you go shopping. 

Lidl customers were asked on social media about their reasons for buying plastic bags. As previously mentioned, many of them buy them to reuse as trash bags later on. Additionally, even if someone does intend to reuse one of these plastic bags, they are often forgotten at home (almost everyone has a bag full of bags somewhere at home). 


In the EU, there have been many directives aimed at reducing the consumption of plastic bags and marine littering. Environmentally conscious choices have encouraged supermarkets to be less reliant on plastic bags. This is in part why most shops require you to pay for plastic bags, to discourage you from using plastic bags and encourage other alternatives such as tote bags, bags for life, and other forms of reusable bags. 

Plastic is particularly harmful to the environment. In nature, it lasts a long time, sometimes even decades and centuries. The important thing to remember is that no matter what type of bag is used, it should be properly recycled after you have finished using it. 

We are seeing more and more paper bags in shops that are easier to recycle and biodegradable, and even if they do end up being littered, they have a less damaging environmental impact. There are further goals for shops to completely remove plastic bags from their stores, along with a greater focus on environmentally friendly product packaging.