// Iceland calls on retail industry to be more transparent in regards to plastic packaging
// It has teamed up with campaigners Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, A Plastic Planet, and Surfers Against Sewage
Iceland has called on retailers to become more transparent in their reporting of plastic packaging in an effort to encourage the fight against plastic pollution.
The frozen food specialist has joined forces with campaigners Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, A Plastic Planet, and Surfers Against Sewage to demand transparency across the wider business sector.
The call for transparency is also supported by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which together with Greenpeace produces an annual survey on plastic usage by supermarkets.
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Iceland first made its commitment on own label plastic packaging in 2018, when it promised to provide regular updates to its customers along its journey.
Since 2018, Iceland pledged to scrap all plastic packaging from its own label products by the end of 2023.
It has removed 3794 tonnes out of the 13,000 tonnes the business was using in January 2018 by the end of 2019 – equating to a 29 per cent reduction.
“Our message is clear. Without transparency, and government enforced reduction targets, we will not be able to judge whether business actions are delivering real progress,” Iceland managing director Richard Walker said.
“That is why today Iceland is calling on retailers and other businesses to step up and commit to publishing their total plastic packaging transparently, including both own label and branded products.
“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.
“What we are asking from all major retailers and businesses is straightforward as they are already subject to PRN reporting and will be in the future to the government’s planned EPR scheme, so this will require no extra costs or resources.
“We have a huge challenge ahead that can only be solved by businesses and policy makers working together, in tandem with fully informed consumers sharing a completely clear picture of both the country and individual businesses’ total plastic packaging.
“Increased recycling is important but won’t solve the issue on its own. Regulated commitments to reduce plastic pollution are also vital if we are to deliver positive progress in the face of the sheer scale of plastic making its way into the environment.
“Our figures show that two thirds of the plastic packaging we sell relates to brands rather than own label.
“When we made our commitment to eliminate plastic from our own label products by the end of 2023, we were aware that we would have to take further steps to lead the way in the fight against the scourge of plastic.
“That is why as well as calling on fellow retailers, businesses and the Government, we are also publishing our first plastic packaging footprint to reflect both our impact and the challenge that lies ahead. We can only solve this crisis by working together.”