UK supermarket chain, Iceland, will this month become the first retailer to use a plastic-free Trust Mark on its product labels. The Trust Mark is a world first, pioneered by anti-plastic campaigner group, A Plastic Planet, and will be used on Iceland’s home brand products in order to give a clear indication of eco-friendly packaging.
“Now we all know the damage our addiction to plastic has caused, we want to do the right thing and buy plastic-free,” says A Plastic Planet Co-Founder, Sian Sutherland. “But it is harder than you think and a clear no-nonsense label is much needed.”“Our Trust Mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing – this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free. Finally, shoppers can be part of the solution, not the problem.”
Iceland’s commitment to the label is the latest move in the company’s strategy to help tackle the scourge of plastic pollution. Earlier this year, the supermarket became the first major retailer to commit to eliminating all plastic packagingon home brand products within 5 years. Its new food ranges, which are set to hit the shelves in early 2018, will feature paper-based rather than plastic food trays. Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range.
“With the grocery retail sector accounting for more than 40 percent of plastic packaging in the UK, it’s high time that Britain’s supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue,” says Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland. “I’m proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realize a plastic-free future for food and drink retail.”
“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. Other supermarkets, and the retail industry as a whole, should follow suit and offer similar commitments during 2018. This is a time for collaboration.”
“There really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment. The technologies and practicalities to create less environmentally harmful alternatives exist, and so Iceland is putting a stake in the ground,” adds Walker.
In March, A Plastic Planet collaborated with Dutch organic supermarket chain, Ekoplaza, to unveil the world’s first plastic-free food aisle. The opening was promoted with use of the same Trust Mark due to be used on Iceland’s home brand packaging this month. Ekoplaza plans to promote the Trust Mark across its 74 Dutch stores and also feature the mark on its own brand product packaging by the end of the year.
The public debate around plastics rages on, with the discovery of record levels of microplastics in the Arctic ice, and in the water products of 11 leading brands, latest on the agenda. Major plastic suppliers worldwide continue to commit to near-future sustainability goals, while promoting the benefits of plastics, including the relatively eco-friendly manufacturing process and the material's capabilities in tackling global food waste