Posted: Tue 10th Mar 2020

Deeside based Iceland reduces plastic packaging in stores by 29%

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 10th, 2020

Deeside based Iceland says it has reduced its overall plastic packaging usage by 29 per cent, two years on from a pledge to remove plastics from all own label product by the end of 2023.

The retailer was the first globally to make such a commitment and remains the only supermarket in the UK to have pledged to remove plastic in its entirety from its own label range.

The 29 percent reduction equates to 3,794 tonnes being removed from the retailer’s annual plastic usage, the equivalent weight of 36 blue whales.

Iceland has said its commitment to reduce plastic usage wont hit customers in the pocket and is “investing heavily in making plastic free, sustainable solutions accessible to its millions of customers.”

The retailer said it has seen significant “wins” across high volume ranges, such as frozen ready meals, where 74 lines have been moved from non-recyclable black plastic and into paperboard-based trays.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, commented: “We received overwhelming support from the public when we announced our commitment back in January 2018, and I’m enormously proud of the progress we’ve made over the past two years.

To have removed 29% at this stage is a real milestone in our journey and we continue to innovate and develop, week by week and tonne by tonne.

“The scale of the challenge we have taken on is huge, partly because of the lack of alternative solutions in some instances, the infrastructure in the manufacturing industry which in many 2 cases is built around plastic usage, and of course the fact that we are the only retailer to have made a ‘totality’ commitment.

“Whilst we have seen a promising shift away from plastic usage across the industry and a significant increase in consumer awareness of the issue since the beginning of 2018, we remain the only retailer to have made this pledge.

We’re now looking ahead to the next phase of our journey, whilst continuing to engage our customers by finding scalable and user friendly solutions, truly democratising choice to make sustainable packaging options an affordable reality for everyone.”

Iceland has also launched a series of “industry leading trials” to support the research and development to help reduce their own plastic consumption.

These include a large-scale trial which has reduced plastic across produce lines by 93 percent, the UK’s first plastic bag free store, the offer of a reduced plastic Christmas range, and installation of reverse vending machines in stores including in Mold. 

These were the first machines to be launched in UK supermarkets and have so far collected over 1.2 million plastic bottles, rewarding customers with over £120,000 in 10p vouchers.

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