Iceland puts the freeze on plastic packaging


Iceland has vowed to become the first United Kingdom supermarket to eliminate all plastic packaging in their products in the next 5 years, in order to prevent further plastic pollution.

Iceland's pledge will see it replace plastic packaging on around 1,400 own label products with paper-based alternatives.

Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and new food ranges in paper packaging will hit the shelves in early 2018.

After the retailer also confirmed that it would introduce "plastics-free" aisles within the next five years, the BPF issued a warning and a reminder that plastics packaging vastly reduces food waste and is resource efficient. "I urge all other retailers to do the right thing and follow suit", Mr.

Iceland's managing director Richard Walker said that with new technologies in place, there is "no excuse" for retailers to create excessive packaging that damage the environment. "This is a time for collaboration".

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Iceland, well known for its extensive range of frozen foods, says says it is aiming to remove plastics wherever feasible.

A survey for Iceland revealed overwhelming public support for a shift away from plastic by retailers, with 80 per cent of 5,000 people polled saying they would endorse a supermarket's move to go plastic-free.

He said the world had "woken up to the scourge of plastics" and the onus was on retailers to take a stand and deliver meaningful change.

It is estimated more than 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the world's oceans every year, putting the lives of all forms of marine life at risk, from larger animals through to plankton, and there are fears that toxins originating from plastics are then re-entering the food chain via seafood.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, said: "Last month a long list of former heads of Britain's biggest retail groups wrote a joint statement to explain that the only solution to plastic pollution was for retailers to reject plastic entirely in favour of more sustainable alternatives like recycled paper, steel, glass and aluminium". They know the scale of systemic change we need, and yet their responses have been timid and piecemeal.