Supermarket chain to ban plastic packaging within 5 years

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In a 2017 OnePoll survey of consumer attitudes to plastic 80 per cent of adult consumers said they would endorse a supermarket's move to go plastic-free, and almost 68 per cent thought other supermarkets should follow this lead.

ICELAND has become the first major supermarket to completely ban plastic packaging. All the paper packaging products will be processed through both local waste collection facilities and in-store recycling schemes.

If Iceland implement these measures, there is a risk that the weight of the packaging, carbon emissions, food waste and the amount of energy to make that packaging will increase.

"There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment", said Iceland's managing director Richard Walker. "With the equivalent of a truckload of plastic waste entering our marine environment every minute, everyone has an urgent part to play in reversing this trend".

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Iceland has already made a shift from possible to practical and removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and the coming up food ranges within a few months will be using paper-based food trays.

Almost 68% think other supermarkets should follow Iceland's lead - the global retailer has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range. He added that "while plastic pollution needs to be tackled head on" a comprehensive strategy was needed that took account of the fact that "packaging plays a key role in the prevention of food waste - another key government priority - with a shrink-wrapped cucumber lasting five times as long as an unwrapped one".

The British branch of Greenpeace said they were "very impressed" with Iceland's plan. They have called on competitors to follow Iceland's lead. But how far are retailers prepared to go and will recyclers be able to follow?

He said the world had "woken up to the scourge of plastics" and the onus was on retailers to take a stand and deliver meaningful change.

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Amid several successive days in which packaging has been dominating the headlines in mainstream news outlets, Iceland's announcement is perhaps the most radical development yet.

"It's now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge".

Such schemes require consumers to pay a small deposit for the plastic bottle they pay, which is then fully refundable once the empty bottle is returned.

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