Iceland has revealed it will be reducing plastic packaging by 93% across its range of fresh produce.
The trial launched on 22 January in 33 of its stores across London and the South East region and will see the frozen food retailer remove or “significantly” reduce the plastic content in packaging across 38 fresh fruit and vegetable lines.
Phase one of the trial will see 27 products launched in redeveloped packaging, with 11 more lines being introduced from 24 March.
Iceland is expecting the trial to “remove seven tonnes of plastic, reflecting the growing consumer appetite to reduce plastic consumption.”
The retailer has also committed to removing all plastic packaging from its own-brand items by the end of 2023.
Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, said: “We understand that consumers are particularly aware of the amount of plastic being used to package produce across the industry and we’ve been working hard to develop user-friendly, sustainable alternatives.
“This trial is the largest ever of its kind and we’re excited to see how customers respond to the range of solutions provided. The trial is truly scalable and our findings will help to further define our strategy for eliminating plastic across our produce offering.”
In its latest financial reports, Iceland reported an 8.7% drop in adjusted EBITDA to £140.1m, down £13.4m, for the year ending 29 March 2019.
The group said the reduction occurred entirely in the first half of the year and reflected sales performance, increased staffing costs as a result of the rise in the National Living Wage and increased distribution costs as a result of higher fuel prices.