Iceland has expanded its efforts with “reduced plastic and plastic-free packaging”, using paper and cardboard for potatoes and fish.
The frozen food specialist started selling British White Potatoes in paper bags, replacing a plastic version. Meanwhile, packs of four Atlantic cod fillets and eight other lines of fish were moved to a cardboard box, still using plastic but 90% less than the old version.
The new potato packaging has been launched in 33 stores in London while the fish packaging is being tested in 17 stores in the Manchester area.
Iceland has been experimenting with plastic-free and ‘reduced-plastic packaging’ alternatives since early last year, when it came up with new solutions for 38 fruit and vegetable lines, such as onion paper strips of spring.
In April of this year, the retailer moved Pink Lady apples from plastic to a cardboard tray with a strip of paper in all stores.
The latest potato and fish measures have the potential to save 96 tonnes of plastic per year, according to Iceland, which is monitoring customer feedback.
The new fish solution alone could save 84 tonnes of material per year when testing 17 stores.
“Removing and reducing plastic from our new potato and fish packaging formats will help our customers have a more sustainable fish and chip dinner while helping us reduce our plastic footprint,” said the Icelandic managing director. Richard Walker.
“If successful, this trial will continue to support the continued introduction of plastic-free and plastic-reduced packaging alternatives, bringing us one step closer to our commitment. “
Since the start of 2018, Iceland has committed to eliminating plastic packaging from its own label lines by the end of 2023. In an update in 2019, the company said it had so far removed 3,794 tonnes.
In a blog post in June this year, Walker warned that meeting the 2023 deadline seemed “increasingly difficult” after increased demand for packaged goods in stores during the pandemic.