ICELAND is the first major UK retailer to commit to eliminate plastic packaging for all its own-brand products – but how do you go about such a challenge? Well for some of the products Sirane’s food packaging range may be the answer.
The frozen food specialist, which also sells fresh produce, has promised to be plastic-free within five years to help end the “scourge” of plastic pollution.
There is definite public support for the move: the supermarket recently carried out a survey in which 80% of the 5,000 people asked said they would back the move.
Iceland managing director, Richard Walker, explaining the company’s move, said: “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.
“The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change.”
Mr Walker said Iceland would ensure all packaging was fully recyclable and would be recycled, by supporting initiatives such as a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.
He said there “really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment” as it is “technologically and practically possible to create less environmentally harmful alternatives“.
Iceland has said all current plastic packaging would be replaced with paper and pulp trays and paper bags, which would be recyclable through domestic waste collections or in-store recycling facilities – all replaced by 2023 at the latest.
Iceland’s fresh produce range could be packed in Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve. This is a breathable bag/film for packaging fresh produce which is made from a natural biopolymer. Not only does it extend shelf-life, but it is 100% compostable.
Sirane’s Sira-Flex™ Resolve® is a unique film which has been developed to have the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability.
The permeability is temperature dependant so that the perfect atmosphere is maintained inside the pack even if the storage temperature is variable.
Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Sira-Flex Resolve is a breathable film which is the perfect packaging solution for fresh produce. If Iceland, or any other retailer, wants to move away from plastics, this is the sort of solution that would work.
“Not only does the film actively extend the shelf-life of the produce – so helps with food waste reduction targets – but it is 100% sustainable and 100& compostable.”
And Iceland, or other retailers looking for more environmentally-friendly packaging, might also be interested in our compostable absorbent pad range.
Jeremy Haydn-Davies, Sirane sales director, said: “Absorbent pads are used in meat, poultry, seafood and fruit, and we can offer many of our pads in a fully compostable format, which will also help retailers boost their green credentials.”
Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and new food ranges in the next few months will use paper-based food trays.
The move comes just a week after Theresa May pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years as part of the government’s environmental strategy.
The PM promised to extend the 5p levy on plastic bags to smaller shops (currently exempt), as well as exploring a potential charge on single-use plastic containers.
She also urged supermarkets to introduce aisles without any plastic packaging, where all food is sold loose, along with new research funding for “plastics innovation” and aid to help developing nations deal with their plastic waste.
For more information on Sirane food’s packaging solutions, call Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.