British supermarket Iceland commits to making own label range plastic-free by 2023

By Johan De Mulder

Supermarket chain Iceland has taken the bold step of committing to the elimination of plastic from its own label range.

The British company has said in a statement that it believes it will become the first retailer in the world to take the action, which it hopes to complete by 2023. 

Replacing plastic packaging will be paper and pulp alternatives that would be fully recyclable through domestic waste collection or in-store recycling facilities. A survey of 5,000 UK consumers found that 80% would support such an initiative.

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"The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics," said Managing Director Richard Walker. "A truckload 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.

"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."

One million tonnes of plastic is generated by UK supermarkets every year but experts have warned that the heavier weight of alternative packaging could result in an increase in carbon emissions.

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