Iceland pledges to remove plastic packaging from own-brand range

Iceland supermarket aisle

Supermarket chain Iceland has pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from its own-brand products over the next five years.

Iceland says it is the 'first major retailer globally' to take this action, stating that 'the continuing defence of current plastic packaging does not resonate with the consumer and general public opinion'.

Plastic will be replaced by paper bags and paper and pulp trays, designed to be fully recyclable either via kerbside collections or from in-store facilities.

Iceland plastic packaging

"The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics. A truckload 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," says Iceland Managing Director, Richard Walker.

"The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change. Other supermarkets, and the retail industry as a whole, should follow suit and offer similar commitments during 2018. This is a time for collaboration.

"There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment. The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground."

Iceland says it has consulted with Greenpeace experts throughout the development process.

"It's now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge," says John Sauven, Greenpeace Executive Director. "Iceland has offered a more radical solution that shows the way forward for the sector."

The retailer says it will start getting rid of plastic packaging for its own-brand products from now. In November 2017, it also announced support for a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.

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