Iceland trial to reduce fresh produce plastic packaging by 93 percent
The trial, which was launched in 33 stores, is expected to remove seven tonnes of plastic from Iceland’s supply chain.
Iceland has launched a sustainable packaging trial that will reportedly see the retailer reduce its plastic packaging by 93 percent across a range of fresh produce. The trial was launched in 33 of Iceland’s stores across London and the South East region, and will offer customers the opportunity to buy 38 fresh fruit and vegetable lines in new packaging solutions that are either plastic-free or have a significantly reduced plastic content.
The trial will see 29 plastic-free or reduced plastic solutions used for the first time in the UK, and will include apples, mixed peppers, potatoes and carrots in plastic-free packaging. The solutions have been developed and tested in partnership with Iceland’s produce and packaging suppliers.
Phase one of the trial will see 27 products launched in redeveloped packaging, with a further 11 products being added in Phase Two which will launch on 4 March 2020. Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, commented: “We understand that consumers are particularly aware of the amount of plastic being used to package produce across the industry and we have been working hard to develop user-friendly, sustainable alternatives. This trial is the largest ever of its kind and we are excited to see how customers respond to the range of solutions provided. 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 are proud to be democratising choice in this way.”
Phase two of the trial will see the 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. “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,” Walker added.