Iceland's plastic-free pledge

Iceland has become the first supermarket to pledge to phase out plastic packaging for its own brand products

In Iceland's decision of going plastic-free by 2023, has shown that powerful retailers are free to take decisive actions, which would help them provide what their customers want, without the environment paying for it. Iceland has become the first major retailer to commit elimination of plastic packaging for its own brand.

The company said new food ranges to be released in the coming months will feature paper-based rather than plastic food trays.

New ranges will be packaged in paper, pulp trays, and paper bags instead of plastic, and the new packaging will be fully recyclable through domestic waste collection or in-store recycling facilities, the supermarket confirmed.

"The process to do this starts now, and Iceland is aiming to complete it within the next five years, removing plastics wherever feasible".

Walker said: "A truckload [of plastic] is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity - since we all depend on the oceans for our survival".

Almost 68% think other supermarkets should follow Iceland's lead - the global retailer has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range. "This is a time for collaboration", said Walker.

Mr. Walker added that with environmentally friendly technological solutions already available, "there really is no excuse anymore for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment".

The move follows the government's recently-announced ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years, through policies such as plastics-free aisles in supermarkets and potentially taxing the use of single-use plastic containers. Initiatives like bottle deposit or return schemes for depositing old plastic bottles have been developed.

However, some within the industry have warned that a crackdown on plastic waste could have unintended consequences.

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.

The British branch of Greenpeace said they were "very impressed" with Iceland's plan.

Mrs May has pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste in the United Kingdom by 2042.

"It's now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge".

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