Iceland challenges grocery store rivals to publish ‘plastic footprint’

Woman shopping in Iceland Image copyright Iceland

Frozen meals retailer Iceland has printed its personal “plastic footprint” and is looking on different grocery chains to do the identical.

It says larger transparency over how a lot plastic is utilized in packaging and transporting meals will result in a discount in plastic waste.

All main chains are chopping again on plastics use.

But Iceland is asking the federal government to make reporting on such use obligatory and to set targets for its discount.

The chain used 32,000 tonnes of plastic in 2019.

“Without transparency, and government enforced reduction targets, we will not be able to judge whether business actions are delivering real progress,” stated Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland.

Supermarkets have come beneath elevated strain in recent times to cut back plastic use. Consumer consciousness of the environmental impression of discarded packaging has risen sharply, partly because of the “Blue Planet effect” after a BBC tv sequence highlighted plastic air pollution within the oceans.

All the massive chains have made pledges and a few strikes to cut back plastic: Morrisons is introducing paper luggage for buyers in its shops, Sainsbury’s eliminated plastic luggage for its unfastened contemporary produce final yr, and Tesco stated it could cease utilizing plastic luggage for its on-line deliveries.

However Mr Walker criticised rival corporations for misrepresenting their strikes to change into extra sustainable.

“For several years now, businesses have been using incomplete information to represent the scale of their plastic packaging, their commitments to change, and the progress being made. We will all be better served by a more accurate and transparent picture on this issue,” he stated.

‘Bold move’

Iceland’s name for larger transparency is supported by a variety of campaigning organisations together with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace who stated if corporations have been required to publish detailed figures and hit targets it could pressure them to deal with the issue.

“UK supermarkets are starting to cut the amount of single-use plastic packaging they produce, but we need them to move faster and think bigger. The government can make a big difference by setting legally binding targets,” stated Greenpeace UK plastic campaigner Nina Schrank.

Image copyright Iceland

A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland stated: “For years UK supermarkets have been hiding behind half-truths and incomplete data, never fully disclosing the enormous scale of the plastic within their own businesses.

“This daring move by Iceland should shortly be adopted by all UK retailers. If the retailers use their collective may, the manufacturers will quickly must observe and we are going to lastly see some actual plastic discount somewhat than but extra pacts and pledges,” she added.

Iceland has made a commitment to eliminate all plastic packaging from its own-label products by the end of 2023 and says publishing its plastic footprint every year will help it achieve that goal.

It said two thirds of the plastic packaging it currently uses is related to branded goods which are outside its control.

Iceland itself came in for criticism last year after a BBC investigation revealed it still had stock containing palm oil on its shelves after it had claimed to have stopped selling any own-label items containing the product.

It additionally eliminated its own-label branding from some merchandise after it failed to fulfill the deadline for the elimination of palm oil from their substances.

Palm oil manufacturing is liable for the lack of giant areas of rainforest, contributing to the local weather change disaster.