Popular U.K. Grocery Store Vows To Get Rid Of Plastic By 2023

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Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:41 p.m. ET

More large chain brands are realizing what they can do to help the environment with changes in their production line, and most have recognized that the biggest scourge is plastic. Yet another company is pledging to reduce and then eliminate plastics from products, signaling a future where this is becoming the norm.

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Iceland Foods is a U.K.-based grocery store that specializes in frozen foods. The Guardian reports that the store has pledged to go plastic-free by 2023, which has a great ring to it. The company made the move after polling consumers. Of the 5,000 customers interviewed, 80 percent said they'd support the move to get rid of plastic in packaging.

Richard Walker, Iceland Food's managing director, believes it's the responsibility of the product producers to reduce plastic.

"The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics. A truckload is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival," he told The Guardian. "The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change.”

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The company is working to develop recyclable packaging, and instituting a bottle return policy that gives out deposits on returned plastic bottles. They've also already removed plastic straws from their label range and paper trays will be debuting in the next month for frozen food meals.

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Walker said that the success of these measures means "there really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment."

Environmentalists from the area agree, like Samantha Harding, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

“Iceland are steadfastly laying the path that all supermarkets should be following," said Harding. “Alongside its support for a deposit return system, Iceland’s commitment to go plastic-free by 2023 shows that powerful retailers can take decisive action to provide what their customers want, without the environment paying for it.”

Retailers can make it much easier for the consumer to make more Earth friendly choices. Iceland is showing what is possible with a little innovation and commitment to the environment. 

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