Aldo Is Ditching Single-Use Shopping Bags in Its Stores

Aldo Group is continuing its eco mission, this time taking on shopping bags.

After announcing last September that it had taken steps to become carbon neutral in its operations (the first fashion footwear and accessories company to gain such certification), the Montreal-based firm has now vowed to make a change in its Aldo and Call it Spring stores, to eliminate single-use shopping bags.

The company estimates that through this initiative roughly 7 million single-use Aldo shopping bags will be eliminated globally, the equivalent to 12,773 bags per average store.

As an alternative, the vertical retailer is promoting the idea of a transportable shoebox.

Aldo Shoebox
Aldo’s eco-friendly shoebox with a handle is replacing single-use bags in stores.
CREDIT: Courtesy Aldo

“Over a decade ago, we introduced a shoebox with a rope as a first step to making our packaging more sustainable and guide our customers to better shopping habits,” said CEO David Bensadoun in a statement. “We now believe that our consumers are ready to accept our boxes as the solution to carry their shoes home.”

The company’s shoeboxes are made from 80% post-consumer recycled materials and are completely recyclable. They feature a built-in paper-made rope for carrying purposes.

And for customers who buy multiple pairs of shoes — or simply like the idea of a bag — Aldo will sell reusable eco-totes, available in four different sizes (small, medium, large and extra-large). Each eco-tote is made from recycled plastic, with the largest bag equaling 8 water bottles.

Aldo is not alone in its efforts. A number of companies and municipalities have taken aim at reducing waste in the retail space to prevent single-use bags (particularly plastic ones) from piling up in landfills or finding their way into the water system.

New York is one of the most recent states to issue a ban on plastic shopping bags. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan, which was approved in April, is due to take effect in March 2020. Other states that have policies against the bags include California and Hawaii, as well as the cities of Boston, Chicago and Jersey City, N.J.

Retailers have taken varying approaches to the issue. H&M charges customers an extra few cents for each paper or plastic bag, with the fees going to global environmental organizations. And Uniqlo, meanwhile, is working on a plan to reduce the use of single-use plastic by 85% by the end of 2020.

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