UK supermarket chain Iceland will trial plastic-free produce in a bid to reduce ocean plastic pollution. The retailer aims to eliminate plastic completely from its own-brand products by 2023.
The trial will launch at the frozen food giant’s Food Warehouse concept store, one of the larger stores opened by the company, in North Liverpool. The package-free, own-brand products will be priced lower than the plastic-covered counterparts, Green Business reports. Staff will be trained to assist customers with new produce weighing stations.
Sustainable options will be offered in place of plastic for loose fruit and vegetables, such as paper bags, cotton and cellulose nets, compostable punnets, and reusable, plant-based elastic bands to bundle produce like celery and green onions.
Throughout the trial, Iceland will gather customer feedback to share with the UK government.
Will Iceland Be the First Supermarket to Go Plastic-Free?
Iceland’s trial is accompanied by a new campaign, #TooCoolForPlastic. In a short video, the supermarket explains that an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans each year.
According to Iceland’s research, UK consumers believe that supermarkets need to be more socially responsible by eliminating plastic or replacing it with sustainable alternatives. The retailer aims to meet consumer demand by becoming the first mainstream supermarket in the world to make its own-brand ranges plastic-free.
“We all have a part to play in tackling the issue and Iceland is constantly looking for ways to reduce its own plastic footprint, as we work towards our commitment,” said Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland. “We are looking forward to seeing how our customers respond to the trial and taking forward learnings to inform the rest of our journey.”
Iceland has already taken steps toward reducing plastic pollution. It has removed plastic from certain produce lines at more than 900 stores, replacing it with recyclable options, like rubber bands.
Iceland isn’t the only one working toward eliminating plastic. Last month, high street retailer Marks & Spencer announced that it would trial 90 lines of package-free produce at its Tolworth location in London. The retailer also swapped barcode stickers for an eco-friendly option, eliminated 75 million pieces of cutlery, and replaced plastic straws with paper alternatives.