Iceland targets plastic-free packaging by 2023

Lloyd Doyle
January 16, 2018

In the case of bakery products, Iceland said it would mainly be exploring paper-based solutions, and would look to use a paper-compatible material such as cellulose in place of plastic for products where shoppers needed to see what they were buying.

"Iceland's pledge will help cut down the one million tonnes of plastic generated by supermarkets in the United Kingdom each year", a company spokesman said.

Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label products, as well as announcing its support for a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.

One million tonnes of plastic is generated by United Kingdom supermarkets every year but experts have warned that the heavier weight of alternative packaging could result in an increase in carbon emissions.

Iceland has become the first major retailer to commit to eliminating plastic packaging for all its own brand products within five years to help end the "scourge" of plastic pollution.

Walker said: "A truckload [of plastic] is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity - since we all depend on the oceans for our survival".

He said there could be changes to other packaging in future: "Take oranges, they come in a net; apples come in a plastic bag".

The supermarket hopes others will follow in "doing the right thing". "This is a time for collaboration".

The general public are fully on board with the need to tackle on plastic packaging waste, according to research.

According to polling by Iceland of 5,000 United Kingdom shoppers, 80% would support a supermarket's decision to go plastic-free, while 91% would be more likely to encourage their friends and family to shop there as a result.

Experts from Greenpeace, which was consulted by Iceland before its announcement, are calling on competitors to follow the frozen food specialist's lead. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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