Iceland has stopped selling bananas in plastic packaging, replacing them with a pre-packaged recycled paper band in its latest move on the war on plastic.
Currently in a trial phase in three stores, the grocer and frozen food specialist said the initiative will eventually save 10 million plastic bags a year.
The new packaging will extend to a further 120 stores later this week before a national roll out by the end of the year.
The retailer said a total of 420 million packs of bananas were sold in the UK each year and urged other supermarkets to follow its lead.
The newly packaged bananas are also the first product in any major UK supermarket to bear the Plastic Free Trust Mark, launched by campaign group A Plastic Planet earlier this year.
Iceland said the move was part of its commitment to remove plastic from all of its own-label packaging by 2023.
“People have become so used to buying their products wrapped in plastic, or indeed using plastic bags for loose produce, and this has to stop if we are to turn down the tap on plastics,” Iceland managing director Richard Walker said.
“This move alone will have a significant impact on our plastics consumption and is one of the first of many solutions that are in development.
“Our customers support our move to reduce single use plastic and we are pleased to share this important milestone, with many more to come.”
Waitrose replaced plastic bags with a sticky band on its Duchy Organic brand of bananas last month, saying the move would save eight tonnes of plastic a year.
It said the band was a temporary step before it introduces compostable bags for Waitrose & Partners Duchy bananas in a few months.