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Preston-based horticulturalist Lovania Nurseries has committed to reducing its non-recyclable plastic by 200 tonnes after agreeing a new supply deal with a major supermarket chain. The family firm supplies plants and bulbs to businesses and major retailers, and has been in partnership Aldi for more than 20 years.

After extending the supply deal by five further years, Lovania will invest in packaging and machinery to improve efficiencies. It has committed to converting all its plant trays to rPET, which is made of recycled materials and is easily recyclable.

Aldi customers will now be able to dispose of the used packaging in household kerbside collections.

Lee Chambers, head of sales, at Lovania, said: “We’ve come a long way since our business began, and continued investment from Aldi is encouraging us to grow and modernise more than ever before.

“We understand the importance of operating in a sustainable way and moving all our cell pack trays is the first step for us to becoming more environmentally friendly.”

The announcement follows recent environmentally-friendly initiatives from Aldi, including plans to be carbon neutral by 2019 and to ensure all its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility, at Aldi UK, said: “We’ve set some ambitious plastic reduction targets and are pleased to see our suppliers working with us to find solutions and help to achieve our goals.

“Many of our customers are avid gardeners and these products will help them to cut single-use plastic from their green spaces.”

Aldi buys British wherever possible, and was the first retailer to sign the NFU Plants and Flowers Pledge which aims to create a fair and transparent ornamental horticulture supply chain.