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Image: Peter Flood

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UK supermarket chain makes plastic free packaging pledge

Iceland, the UK’s leading frozen food specialist, is committing to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023. 

The supermarket has made the pledge in an effort to cut the 1 million tonnes of plastic it says is generated by supermarkets in the UK each year. Iceland will replace plastic by creating a range of packaging comprising paper and pulp trays along with paper bags that are fully recyclable through domestic waste collection or in-store recycling facilities, and therefore less harmful to the environment.

Iceland released the findings of a survey of 5,000 UK consumers in which nearly 68% think that other supermarkets should follow their lead on plastics.

Iceland Managing Director, Richard Walker, 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.

“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.”

Iceland’s announcement is a welcome one. Plastic pollution in our oceans poses a real threat to whales and dolphins. 56% of all whale and dolphin species, from small fish-eating dolphins to the largest filter feeding whales, have been recorded eating plastics floating in the ocean that they’ve mistaken for food.

Find out more about the plastic problem and what you can do by visitng WDC’s notwhalefood.com