Leading U.K. supermarket Iceland, which specializes in frozen food, has made a commitment to eliminate plastic packaging from its own brand products by the end of 2023.
In an announcement Tuesday, the retailer said it had already removed disposable plastic straws from its own label range. It added that its new food ranges would use paper-based food trays instead of plastic ones.
Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, said that the world had “woken up to the scourge of plastics.” Walker added that the onus was on retailers to take a stand and “deliver meaningful change.”
“There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment,” he said. “The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground.”
Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven described Iceland’s commitment to go plastic free within five years as bold. “It’s now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge,” he added. “The tidal wave of plastic pollution will only start to recede when they turn off the tap.”
Iceland is not the only business looking to tackle the issue of packaging. Sandwich and coffee shop Pret A Manger now offers a 50 pence (69 cents) discount on hot drinks for customers who bring in a reusable cup.