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Food retailer Iceland: time to put the freeze on plastics ‘scourge’

United Kingdom – Iceland, the frozen food specialist with 900 stores in the UK, has made a commitment to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own-brand products, with the goal to be achieved by the end of 2023.

The company aims to 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 therefore less harmful to the environment’.

According to the chain, ‘the continuing defence of current plastic packaging does not resonate with the consumer and general public opinion’.

Managing director Richard Walker argues: ‘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. We will ensure that all our packaging is fully recyclable and that it is actually recycled, through our support for initiatives such as a bottle deposit return scheme.’

According to Iceland, plastic ‘creates a significant recycling issue’, claiming that only a third of plastics are recycled in the UK while the remainder either ends up in landfill, is incinerated or is discarded illegally.

Environmental lobby group Greenpeace has called on other store groups to follow Iceland’s lead.

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