Iceland Foods’ will create a line of sustainable packaging for its private label products. 

DEESIDE, U.K. — Iceland Foods announced plans to eliminate plastic packaging from its private label products by 2023.

The U.K.-based supermarket chain and frozen food supplier intends to use materials that are environmentally friendly. It will create a range of packaging that includes paper and pulp trays and paper bags that are fully recyclable through domestic waste collection or in-store recycling facilities.

For bread and bakery products, Iceland is researching a variety of solutions, said Keith Haan, director of corporate affairs, Iceland. Options include using paper and cellulose materials as well as technologies that combine cellulose with plant-based films. The company is currently testing the impacts these materials could have on the shelf life of bakery products and reviewing their possible environmental impacts.

A survey of 5,000 U.K. consumers by market research firm OnePoll revealed that 80% would endorse a supermarket’s move to go plastic-free and 68% believe other supermarkets should follow this trend.

“The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change,” said Richard Walker, managing director, Iceland. “Other supermarkets, and the retail industry as a whole, should follow suit and offer similar commitments during 2018. This is a time for collaboration.”

The company plans to aggressively move to non-plastic packaging over the next five years.  It is currently focusing on replacing the plastic trays used for the more than 100 million frozen meals it produces each year. Two new meal ranges in alternative paper-based trays will be launched in stores next month, Mr. Haan said.

During the transitions, Iceland said it will provide regular updates on key milestones.