Iceland ditches plastic for pre-packed bananas

Frozen food retailer Iceland is switching the packaging for its pre-packed bananas from plastic to a paper band that is 100% recyclable and made from recycled paper, in a move that will save 10 million plastic bags from being used by the company annually.

The new paper-packed bananas have launched in three trial stores and will roll out to a further 120 stores later this week. Iceland has confirmed a national rollout will commence before the end of the year.

The packs will be the first product in any major UK supermarket to hold to the Plastic Free Trust Mark, which was launched by A Plastic Planet earlier this year. The Mark outlines to consumers that they are purchasing plastic-free packaging.

Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker said: “Since making our commitment to remove plastic from our own label packaging, we have been working hard behind the scenes to find plastic-free alternatives. People have become so used to buying their products wrapped in plastic, or indeed using plastic bags for loose produce, and this has to stop if we are to turn down the tap on plastics. We’re creating impetus for that change in consumer habits through the use of innovative solutions.”

“This move alone will have a significant impact on our plastics consumption and is one of the first of many solutions that are in development. Our customers support our move to reduce single-use plastic and we are pleased to share this important milestone, with many more to come.”

Frozen out

In January this year, Iceland committed to becoming the world’s first major retailer to remove plastic packaging from its own brand products by 2023. Since the announcement, more than 850 tonnes of plastic from own-label packaging has been removed, notably by replacing black plastics with paper-based trays.

The retailer has also trialled a number of innovative measures to cut back on plastic use and improve the recyclability of its packaging. Iceland is examining consumer views to using paper bags through in-store trials and also became the first UK supermarket to install a reverse vending machine for plastic bottles. The retailer has even launched a version of plastic-free chewing gum.

Single-use plastics at Responsible Retail 2018

Solving the plastics problem is one of the key themes running throughout edie’s upcoming Responsible Retail 2018 conference, taking place on 20 September in London.

The full-day event has been designed for the retailers, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders that are looking for the information, insight and inspiration required to seize the sustainability opportunity.

Find out more about Responsible Retail 2018 and register to attend here.

Matt Mace

Comments (1)

  1. Tim Beesley says:

    What a beautifully simple idea. Why has no one thought of this before?
    Congratulations to Iceland!

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