Frozen food specialist Iceland has pledged to become the first retailer globally to completely remove plastic packaging from its own-brand products by 2023.
The company plans to create a range of paper and pulp trays along with paper bags which are all fully recyclable. It has already removed disposable plastic straws from its own-label range, and all new food products will feature paper-based food trays instead.
UK supermarkets produce a million tonnes of plastic each year, prompting government regulation on the use of plastic shopping bags.
Richard Walker, Iceland managing director, said: “The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics. A truckload is entering our oceans every three minutes, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival.
“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.”
He added: “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.
“We are working closely with our supportive own label suppliers to ensure this pledge becomes a reality, and we’ll be providing regular updates to customers on our progress in the months to come.”