Having watched the amazing BBC documentary The Blue Planet at the end of last year you couldn’t help but be affected by the sad scenes of animals being caught up in plastic or having died eating plastic. How often after having been to the supermarket, you’re unpacking your shopping and you scratch your head when you see the amount of plastic packaging that is used. Pop in to a local coffees shop and see all the little loaves, slices, cakes, treats or muffins wrapped in plastic. It’s truly mind boggling.
So well done to Iceland, the frozen food company, which has stated that it wants to become the world’s first major retailer to get rid of plastic packaging from all its own label products within five years. It comes just as Greenpeace are petitioning supermarkets to remove single-use plastic from their stores.
Iceland said its commitment was an important step in reducing the one million tonnes of plastic that UK supermarkets generate each year. Richard Walker at Iceland said : “There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment. The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground.” He also urges the supermarkets to work together and collaborate putting aside the notorious cut throat competition to achieve the waste reduction. Maybe other industries should look into doing the same. Bakeries, Cake and Dessert makers alongside their customers should work together to reduce unnecessary waste and packaging and use environmentally friendly alternatives instead. It also requires that customers be educated so they can put pressure on the major companies to change.