It’s no secret the world has been slowly switching from plastic to paper, and now Iceland are stepping up efforts to phase out plastic waste by switching to paper carrier bags or re-usable bags made from recycled plastic.
The nationwide supermarket giant first made waves earlier in the year by pledging to eliminate all plastic packing from its brands by 2023, so the move away from plastic carrier bags makes perfect sense. Their trial is set to run for eight weeks across the Merseyside region, and bosses hope that giving customers a choice between paper carrier bags and bags made from post-consumer plastic waste will help further cut back on the single-use plastic bags of old.
Iceland have stated that the government’s 5p plastic bag levy helped them cut the number of plastic bags distributed to customers by 80%, but that still means using three million plastic carrier bags every single week. Managing Director Richard Walker reported there was still strong customer support for cutting down on plastic waste even further:
“We have received widespread support since announcing our intention to eradicate plastic packaging and we know that customers support our move to reduce single use plastics,” he said. “We’re already taking steps to deliver on our commitment to remove plastics, and of course single use carriers are a significant part of the plastic we have in store, used by our customers every day.”
The trial is designed to provide the company with an in-depth look into how it can move away from plastic bags completely. It’s a move that follows the launch of all-new plastic-free packaging and the introduction of deposit return machines made to encourage people to recycle their plastic bottles.
Iceland isn’t even taking any chances on the environmental impact of their paper bags. Each one is made from paper sourced from Forest and Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests, and they can easily be recycled by customers at home.