Iceland launches UK first trial to reduce plastic packaging on fresh produce by 93%

Major supermarket chain Iceland have launched an initiative to slash plastic packaging across a range of fresh produce by 93%.

The trial, launched this week in 33 of Iceland’s stores across London and the South East region, will give customers the chance to buy 38 fresh fruit and vegetable lines in innovative new packaging solutions that are either plastic-free or have a significantly reduced plastic content.

Iceland is expecting the trial to remove seven tonnes of plastic.

And it will see 29 plastic-free or reduced plastic solutions used for the first time in the UK, including apples, mixed peppers, potatoes and carrots in plastic-free packaging.

Phase one of the trial includes 27 products launched in redeveloped packaging, with a further eleven products being added in phase two launched on March 4.

Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, said: “We understand that consumers are particularly aware of the amount of plastic being used to package produce across the industry and we’ve been working hard to develop user-friendly, sustainable alternatives. The trial is truly scalable and our findings will help to further define our strategy for eliminating plastic across our produce offering.

“Most importantly, customers will not have to pay a premium for the plastic-free or reduced plastic products as prices will remain exactly the same, and we’re proud to be democratising choice in this way.”

Phase 2 of the trial will rollout of new fixtures for bananas, a third iteration of the first trial for plastic-free bananas which initially proved to be unsuccessful. The trial of paper band packaging for bananas was stopped in early 2019 when the banded product was shown to increase food waste in stores. New fixtures were later successfully trialled, says the store.

“When we made our industry-leading commitment to remove plastic from our own label products, we knew we would encounter obstacles along the way, including unsuccessful launches. We continue to be transparent with our customers about our successes and learnings, and bring them along on the journey as we use their feedback to improve and innovate,” Richard added.

Source: Evening Standard