UK’s Iceland to trial paper bags to tackle plastic waste

4 July 2018 (Last Updated July 4th, 2018 11:35)

British supermarket chain Iceland is set to trial paper bags in stores across the Merseyside region in an effort to replace single-use plastic bags.

British supermarket chain Iceland is set to trial paper bags in stores across the Merseyside region in an effort to replace single-use plastic bags.

During the trial, which is set to run for a period of eight weeks, the retailer will offer customers an option to choose between a paper carrier bag and a version made using post-consumer plastic waste.

The company will charge 10p for each paper or reusable bag.

“We have received widespread support since announcing our intention to eradicate plastic packaging.”

Earlier this year, the retailer made a pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by 2023.

Since the government introduced a 5p levy on plastic bags in 2015, an 80% reduction in usage was witnessed.

However, the retailer currently offers three million plastic carrier bags a week to consumers.

Iceland managing director Richard Walker said: “We have received widespread support since announcing our intention to eradicate plastic packaging and we know that customers support our move to reduce single-use plastics.

“We’re already taking steps to deliver on our commitment to remove plastics, and of course single-use carriers are a significant part of the plastic we have in store, used by our customers every day.”

Walker also noted that the trial is an opportunity for the company to gain an in-depth understanding of how single-use carrier bags can be eliminated ‘while offering an alternative that is fit for purpose and works for our customers’.

In May this year, Iceland installed a reverse vending machine in its Fulham, London store to incentivise individuals for recycling, by providing money or vouchers in exchange for empty containers.