Iceland trials new packaging that could save over 350 tonnes of plastic every year

‘If these trials are successful, the impact on plastic reduction will be huge,’ supermarket spokesperson says

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 20 October 2020 12:41 BST
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Iceland is trialling a new, innovative packaging scheme for several items in its stores in a bid to drastically reduce plastic use.

The supermarket, which boasts almost 1,000 branches across the UK, has announced it is trialling new forms of packaging on seven items, including bread, potatoes, apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries and mushrooms.

If the trials prove successful, the introduction of plastic-free and reduced-plastic packaging could prevent hundreds of tonnes worth of plastic being used by the firm on an annual basis.

Iceland says it will become the first supermarket in the UK to offer a pre-packaged loaf of bread in paper packaging that is completely recyclable, in addition to potatoes that come in plastic-free paper packaging.

Each of the packaging trials taking place are being held at different Iceland branches across the UK and at different times of the year.

This will help the supermarket “monitor its customer responses from across the country”, the firm said in a press release.

“In total, if the new packaging formats are successfully rolled out across all sub-categories (e.g. all bread lines) and all stores, Iceland will save over 350 tonnes of plastic per year,” the company said.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, said that the packaging trials “represent an important step” in Iceland’s “journey to completely remove plastic from our own label ranges by the end of 2023”.

“If these trials are successful, the impact on plastic reduction across our almost 1,000 stores will be huge,” Mr Walker said.

“We recently called on big businesses to join us in publishing their full plastic footprint, to support our call for enhanced transparency. Now we are asking our customers to try these plastic free alternatives, as we continue to turn down our tap on plastic production.”

In September, it was reported that Waitrose was permanently removing plastic wrapping from its multi-buy grocery tins.

According to the supermarket, making the decision to remove the plastic wrapping from tinned items such as baked beans, sweetcorn and tuna will save approximately 45 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

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