Grandmother, 75, stages anti-plastic protest in Aldi by stripping her shopping of all its packaging


A green grandmother is deliberately causing supermarket chaos by stripping her shopping from its packaging while still in store – dumping a mountain of plastic waste behind.

Jackie Hopkinson visited her local Aldi, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on a mission to tackle ‘excessive use of plastic’ in supermarkets.

Armed with scissors and containers, the grandmother-of-three began taking vegetables, herbs and even milk out of their plastic holders.

The 75-year-old claims other shoppers looked at her as if she’d ‘gone mad’ – but she vowed to continue her plastic-tackling stunt in other supermarkets in the future as she worries about the world her 16-month-old grandson will grow up in.

Above the pile she left behind, Jackie stuck a notice that reads ‘dear Aldi manager, I am leaving my plastic packaging today as I object to the excessive use in your store and the lack of alternatives’.

The retired milk lady, who is a member of North East Derbyshire Climate Action Group, is urging everyone to follow suit to avoid plastic ‘gradually killing us’.

Grandmother Jackie Hopkinson (pictured) took scissors and containers to Aldi and removed all the 'excessive' plastic from her shopping, leaving it behind her with a note to the manager

Grandmother Jackie Hopkinson (pictured) took scissors and containers to Aldi and removed all the ‘excessive’ plastic from her shopping, leaving it behind her with a note to the manager¬†

Jackie, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said: ‘People were looking and didn’t say anything, but they were aware of what we’d been doing and wondering if we’d gone mad.

‘I shop like everyone else and bring all my plastic home, wondering what to do with the damn stuff.

‘The amount of plastic I’m taking home that I don’t want is horrible. It’s made from oil which a lot of people don’t understand, and it’s gradually killing us.

‘I’ve got a little grandson, who’s 16 months old, and I wonder what kind of world I’m going to leave behind for him.

‘This isn’t a local issue – it’s a global issue. It’s all the supermarkets.’

Jackie was approached by the Aldi store manager as she quietly packed her food into her own bag and claims he vowed to take pictures of the mess left behind and let his own boss know.

Her sign above the rubbish added: ‘Plastic pollution is a major risk to the health of the earth and all living creatures.

‘Please contact your head office and request a radical rethink on packaging policy and a review of alternatives.

Grandmother-of-three and eco-warrior Jackie Hopkinson

A note left behind by Ms Hopkinson urging Aldi managers to use less plastic packaging on their products

Jackie Hopkinson (left) left a note to the managers at Aldi (right) urging them to ask head office to use less plastic packaging with their products to help tackle the problem of plastic pollution

‘From member of Climate Action NE Derbyshire.’

Over the last two weeks, Jackie has visited other supermarkets and claims she will continue leaving all plastic behind ‘from now on’.

Jackie said: ‘I got so annoyed that day. I went in and thought ‘I’m not taking this home’.

‘I took my containers with me and my scissors and packed everything up then left the plastic there.

‘I want people to wake up to the fact they don’t have to take the plastic home. If they don’t want to [leave] it in the shop, do it in the car park, or take it home and bring it back.

‘[Shops] need to be aware of the damage they are doing with all this plastic.

‘I said [to the Aldi manager] ‘we’re not just picking on you – I shop here regularly. You’re my store’.

‘I felt angry about it which is why I did it, and will keep doing it, from now on when I go shopping. I won’t bring any plastic home.’

Pictured: pile of plastic packaging left behind by Jackie Hopkinson at Aldi earlier this month

Pictured: pile of plastic packaging left behind by Jackie Hopkinson at Aldi earlier this month

The climate activist is now urging others to use her methods to ‘make a difference’ – claiming it is ‘about time something was done’ by ordinary people too.

Jackie said: ‘People need to wake up to leaving their plastic behind and telling the supermarkets ‘we do not want your plastic’.

‘I think it’s time something was done. Ordinary people can do such a lot if they want to move forward. We’ve come for [their] food – not their plastic.. It just winds me up.

‘Leave the plastic at the supermarkets. It’s such a simple way for people to make a difference.’

Aldi have vowed to halve their plastic packaging footprint over the next four years and claim they have already taken steps to reduce waste.

A spokesperson for Aldi said: ‘At Aldi we are committed to further reducing plastic throughout our stores and have pledged to halve our plastic packaging footprint by 2025.

‘We have already removed over 7,400 tonnes of plastic from across our range, including banning single-use plastic bags for loose fruit and veg, removing plastic lids from yoghurt and cream pots and removing all shrink-wrapping from own-label multipack soft drinks.’

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