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Iceland to be First Plastic Free Supermarket

January 17, 2018, 8:00 AM
  • Iceland has pledged to try and be plastic free by 2023
  • Attempt to cut down on plastic waste
  • Will only apply to its’ own brand products
  • Announcement comes after Environmental Plan was revealed
Frozen food specialist Iceland is cutting out its’ plastic packaging. Image: Getty

Iceland is aiming to become plastic free on all its’ own brand products by 2023.

The pledge will be an important step towards cutting down on the one million tonnes of plastic waste generated by supermarkets each year.

Instead of using plastic packaging, Iceland will use predominantly paper packaging, which is recyclable and less harmful for the environment.

The pledge comes after the Government announced a 25 year Environmental Plan for the UK, which focused primarily on cutting down on the UK’s plastic waste.

This included an aim for supermarkets to have plastic free aisles, an extension on the plastic bag tax, and a potential ‘Latte Levy’.

Iceland has already started on its’ pledge, by removing plastic disposable straws from its’ own label range, and said that its’ new food ranges that will hit shelves in 2018 will all have paper based packaging, rather than plastic.

Richard Walker, Iceland’s Managing Director, said, “The onus is on retailers 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.

“There is no excuse for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment- the technologies to create less harmful alternatives exist.”

“We will also ensure that all our packaging is fully recyclable and that it is actually recycled”.

Iceland has encouraged other supermarkets to follow its’ eco-friendly stance, saying that now is a time for collaboration in order to help the environment.

Last week, M&S were criticised for the excessive plastic wrapping in a cauliflower steak, the product has since been pulled from shelves.

The plastic free packaging might also mean it will be cheaper to shop at Iceland.

The Government hinted that taxes on plastic wrapping will be introduced, after the plastic bag tax was so effective in cutting down on the use of the bags.

Iceland have been praised by the public for the move.

Twitter user Ella Taylor said, “Great news! Well done Iceland! I hope the others follow suit now, what do you say Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco, and M&S?”

Alexander Verbeek said, “This is good news. As consumers, let’s keep this in mind when buying products.”

What do you think of Iceland’s pledge? Let us know in the comments!

over a year ago

This shows great initiative by Iceland. It is no easy task to re-design thousands of products (and all the supply chain logistics behind that), but Iceland has taken the charge and shown it is possible - if the leadership is there.

Encouraging brands and suppliers to make environmental changes is surely better than to put the onus on consumers.

Well done Iceland!

AgnesFaludiover a year ago

The problem is not the plastic....I checked and most of the bottles is recycled . But how it gets into the Ocean? That is the question in here?

Is the plastic tax will help to save the environment? Nope....Why not? Where is the current plastic bag tax goes? To the preferred charity of the companies, so there is nothing about clearing or saving the environment....and I hardly believe if we pay more it will goes there where is the problem is.

So u recycle, take your time and work free, than u pay companies to take your trash for money and after a third company make recycled packaging like bags from it....and make u pay for it.

Or your plastic just ends up in the Ocean? Why? Because someone who meant to deal with the trash situation takes it elsewhere....

It is great to change to green packaging, but just think about it what it can be? Paper? Made from wood? Made from leaves....the new technology is on the way to make it from prawn and lobster shells, but will take a while till we have those plastics.

Sometimes I feel we are seriously going back in time. Back to the 80's when we had glass bottles and we took it back to the stores for money. Than we wanted lighter ones so plastic came in...Now we do not want plastic.

And lets face it, it is huge problem. But there is bigger problem, should be sorted, like others do not even believe this is happening.

Jaycee5over a year ago

It isn't just bottles though. It is things like wrapping cucumbers in cling film. It ending up in landfill is only a bit better than it ending up in the ocean.

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