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Iceland is aiming to eliminate all own-brand plastic waste by 2023

The UK supermarket chain will introduce paper and pulp trays and paper bags as it gradually ditches plastic packaging over a five-year period.

UK supermarket chain Iceland wants to become the world’s first major retailer to ditch plastic packaging on all of its own-brand products – something it believes can be achieved within five years.

Between now and 2023 the frozen food specialists will start using paper and pulp trays, and recyclable paper bags, instead of plastic alternatives. It’s already stopped selling own-brand disposable plastic straws.

In a survey of consumer attitudes to plastic, conducted by OnePoll in December, 80% of respondents said they’d welcome a supermarket’s decision to go plastic-free, with 68% saying that other retailers should follow their lead.

Some 91% said they’d be more likely to encourage their friends and family to shop at a supermarket that ditched plastic.

Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, said “the world has woken up to the scourge of plastics”.

“A truckload is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival,” he explained.

“The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change. Other supermarkets, and the retail industry as a whole, should follow suit and offer similar commitments during 2018. This is a time for collaboration.”