UK retailer Iceland has announced that its private-label range will be plastic-free by 2023.
The managing director of the frozen food operator, Richard Walker, has urged other retailers to “follow suit” by meaningfully committing to lower plastic use in his announcement.
“The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change,” said Walker. “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,” Walker added. “The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground.”
The retailer said it planned to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023 on a global scale. It said this was an ‘important step’ towards curbing the estimated one million tonnes of plastic generated in British supermarkets every year.
Iceland said it will use the 'latest technologies' to make packaging that incorporates paper and pulp trays, in addition to recyclable paper bags.
The supermarket’s new private-label food launches, due to be introduced this year, will come in paper-based trays as opposed to plastic, according to Iceland. Previously it had already removed plastic disposable straws from its own range.
‘The Only Solution’
“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,” commented Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, who welcomed the move.
“Now Iceland has taken up that challenge with its bold pledge to go plastic free within five years,” Sauven added. “It’s now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge.”
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan