Iceland MD criticises retailers’ refill trials for accelerating food waste

Iceland Richard Walker food waste refill
Many retailers, including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have offered customers a way to purchase loose produce
// Iceland MD Richard Walker criticises retailers’ refill offerings as an “impractical” way of shopping
// Last month, it introduced a new trial to remove 93% of plastic packaging from fruit & veg

Iceland managing director Richard Walker has called out retailers’ loose produce and refill station trials for increasing food waste.

Many retailers, including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, have offered customers a way to purchase loose produce by filling their own containers from dispensers.

However, Walker has criticised the “impractical” way of shopping as it results in increased food waste, The Grocer reported.


Meanwhile, Iceland is finding other ways to reduce plastic packaging.

Last month, the frozen food retailer introduced a new trial to remove 93 per cent of plastic packaging from fresh produce.

Iceland said 33 of its London and South East stores will include the trial, which will see it remove or significantly reduce the plastic content in packaging across 38 fresh fruit and vegetable lines from this week.

The first phase of the trial will see 29 lines offer plastic-free or reduced-packaging options, with 11 more lines being introduced from March 4.

Retailers trialling refill stations include Waitrose, with its four-store “unpacked” initiative launched last year.

Customers can fill their own containers with a choice of 200 products from pasta to detergent using pick & mix-style dispensers.

Big 4 grocer Asda partnered with Unilever and Kellogg’s to launch refill stations at a Leeds store from May.

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  1. How did people used to shop before plastic was invented? Go back to that. Humans were around for hundreds of thousands of years before plastic. Why are we so reliant on it now?!

  2. Iceland must be the biggest organisation for packing customers shopping in plastic bags at the till. They are huge and strong bags.
    When shopping for home delivery every bottle, pack of dog food, frozen food, chilled food, fresh produce is put in separate bags. I return my bags with next order, but still get given more.


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