Iceland to reduce plastic fruit & veg packaging in ‘largest ever’ trial

ICELAND are to trial new packaging solutions on their fresh fruit and vegetable lines that will see either plastic-free variations or significantly reduced plastic content used to package the produce.

The packaging solutions have been developed and tested in partnership with the supermarket’s produce and packaging suppliers, with Iceland saying that the trial represents the culmination of months of development.

Initially, the trial will be launched in phases. With the first stage seeing 27 fruits and vegetables launched using the packaging, with a further 11 products being added in phase two which will launch on 4 March.

Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, commented, “We understand that consumers are particularly aware of the amount of plastic being used to package produce across the industry and we’ve been working hard to develop user-friendly, sustainable alternatives. This trial is the largest ever of its kind and we’re excited to see how customers respond to the range of solutions provided. The trial is truly scalable and our findings will help to further define our strategy for eliminating plastic across our produce offering.

“Most importantly, customers will not have to pay a premium for the plastic-free or reduced plastic products as prices will remain exactly the same, and we’re proud to be democratising choice in this way.

“When we made our industry-leading commitment to remove plastic from our own label products, we knew we would encounter obstacles along the way, including unsuccessful launches. We continue to be transparent with our customers about our successes and learnings, and bring them along on the journey as we use their feedback to improve and innovate.”

The supermarket said that it expects the trial alone to remove seven tonnes of plastic from its store.