The frozen food supermarket chain Iceland has today announced the launch of nine new product lines that it says are plastic-free or have a heavily reduced plastic content, reportedly resulting in a reduction in plastic of 36.6 tonnes.

Some of the new packaging solutions include cartons for frozen vegetables and herbs sold in Iceland stores, such as garlic, coriander, ginger and chilli. The company says that its 25pk Chicken Dippers and Chicken Popsters will be packaged in paper laminate bags, which it claims is first to market. 

In addition, Iceland’s frozen Easy Peel Wild Red Shrimp will be packaged in a coated paper bag, which is apparently free from plastic.

The company adds that additional reductions in its plastic packaging will include Iceland’s Soured Cream & Chive Dip and Sweet Chilli Houmous, which will be packaged in paperboard pots.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, comments: “We are continuing to innovate our packaging as we endeavour to remove plastic packaging from our products.

“Our team is working tirelessly to launch these packaging trials as we continue to monitor customer responses to reduced product visibility with the new packaging.

“While we are very proud of the progress we have made so far, our journey to becoming plastic free would be much easier if Government set more aggressive, mandatory plastic reduction targets as a framework for businesses to operate within.

“Once again, we would also call upon our fellow retailers to make more ambitious commitments to reducing their plastic footprint so we can find solutions that reduce the need to rely on plastic packaging together.”

In 2018, Iceland pledged to be the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own-brand products, setting a target for the end of 2023. The company was also the first UK supermarket to introduce plastic-free, recycled paper packaging for its pre-packed bananas.

Other supermarkets committing to the reduction and reimagining of plastic packaging include Lidl, which last month announced plans to trial a soft plastic collection initiative while phasing out plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables with compostable alternatives. Tesco has also launched a national soft plastic recycling scheme in its stores, as well as its Loop model for customers to buy food, drink, household and beauty products in reusable packaging.

Iceland’s new packaging will be trialled in 115 Iceland stores across Cheshire, North Wales, and the West Midlands.