A frozen food retailer has vowed to go plastic free across its own range within five years.
Bosses from Iceland, the Deeside based frozen food supermarket chain, have stated their intentions to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023.
In its place, Iceland will create a range of packaging comprising paper and pulp trays along with paper bags which are fully recyclable through domestic waste collection or in-store recycling facilities and less harmful to the environment.
Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and the supermarket will be providing regular updates on key milestones during the next five years as it transitions to plastic free packaging.
Richard Walker, Iceland managing director, said: “The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics.
“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.
“There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment.
“The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground.”
Mr Walker added that the company will ensure that all packaging is fully recyclable and that it is actually recycled, through its support for initiatives such as a bottle deposit return scheme.
Throughout the process, Iceland has consulted with Greenpeace experts who have called on competitors to follow Iceland’s lead.
John Sauven, Greenpeace executive director, said: “Last month a long list of former heads of Britain’s biggest retail groups wrote a joint statement to explain that the only solution to plastic pollution was for retailers to reject plastic entirely in favour of more sustainable alternatives like recycled paper, steel, glass and aluminium.
“Now Iceland has taken up that challenge with its bold pledge to go plastic free within five years. It’s now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge.
“The tidal wave of plastic pollution will only start to recede when they turn off the tap.
“They know the scale of systemic change we need, and yet their responses have been timid and piecemeal.
“Iceland has offered a more radical solution that shows the way forward for the sector.”