Iceland could miss plastic-free target, admits boss

Iceland’s managing director has admitted that the chain could miss its goal of becoming plastic-free by 2023.

Richard Walker, who once called it an “issue that we care deeply about”, put the blame on Covid setbacks and the “lack of commercially viable innovation”.

A further blow came in 2019, when the supermarket abandoned its move to loose fruit and vegetables as sales plummeted by a third.

“We remain focused on our target and will not stop until we have delivered what we set out to,” Walker said.

READ MORE: Set ‘aggressive’ targets to cut plastic, says Iceland boss

He pledged that, “as we progress to becoming plastic free”, Iceland would go “plastic neutral”, recycling waste that weighs the same as its “residual plastic footprint”.

To make a greater impact, it will focus on recovering materials from developing countries with “the highest waste leakage”.

So far, Iceland has cut plastic packaging on own-label products by 29 per cent since 2017.

“Eliminating plastics is of course the ultimate goal,” Hugo Tagholm, founder of conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage, said.

“However other additional measures to contain, collect and recycle plastics are also currently vital.”

“[Iceland’s] investment in plastic neutrality will go some way in ridding our oceans of the plastic which has become so prolific in our daily lives.”

The news comes as world leaders gather at Cop26 in Glasgow to discuss the climate crisis.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Of course they will miss the target. Most of the green targets heading towards 2050 will be either missed or quietly forgotten about. It’s all nice in theory and sounds nice and cosy to have these targets, but when it comes to reality. Net Zero. Plastic Zero. It’s all impossible. I don’t see yogurt pots are going to get replaced any time soon. How will Iceland replace all the frozen produce in plastic freezer bags? They don’t seem to have replaced the plastic milk bottles or the plastic cordial bottles either. There’s only so much that can be done. It seems making plastic packaging a bit smaller than usual is what most of the supermarkets seem to be doing to keep the “extreme green brigade” parading on our roads quiet.


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