Lidl Ireland has announced plans to offer customers recycling stations in its stores to reduce packaging waste bought in-store.
The company said it is the first Irish retailer to offer customers such a service.
Lidl said it would introduce segregated recycling stations at the end of customer checkouts in all 160 stores across Ireland.
They will be rolled out from the start of May and will be available across all stores by the end of the month.
This follows a trial of these recycling stations in three Lidl stores in Gorey, Greystones and Ballycullen, which Lidl said proved to be a huge success with its customers.
The company anticipates that the countrywide rollout of these recycling stations will result in tonnes of plastic, cardboard and other recyclable materials being recycled across their store network.
This latest move is one of several steps that Lidl is taking as part of its plastic reduction strategy.
Last year, it discontinued the sale of single-use plastic items including drinking straws, disposable plates, cups and cutlery, with plastic-stemmed cotton buds next on the list in the coming months.
It said the single-use plastic items are being replaced with biodegradable alternatives, saving 2.2 million straws and 1.6 million plastic plates and cups and 75.1 million individual cotton buds from its Irish shops every year.
Lidl Ireland's Managing Director JP Scally, said that the introduction of in-store recycling stations is the latest step on the company's journey to tackle the important issue of plastic waste.
"We know from Repak research that Ireland is one of the leading recycling countries in the EU for packaging recycling, however Ireland's EU target for recycling is to increase to 65% by 2025," Mr Scally said.
"We want to play our part in supporting the country to achieve this target through our recycling stations nationwide," he added.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said that industry leadership is key if the country is to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
"This initiative launched by Lidl, will be welcomed by consumers and also send a signal through the supply chain to reduce unnecessary packaging," the Minister said.
"Working individually and collaboratively, the entire retail industry has a powerful role to play in tackling this issue," he added.
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