British supermarkets have saved 335,00 tonnes of CO2 since 2018 by slashing a tenth of their plastic packaging.
According to recycling group WRAP, the drop in emissions is the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.
At the same time, the amount of recycled material in packaging has doubled to 18 per cent.
“I believe this work should inspire us when we think about the enormous efforts needed to tackle climate change,” WRAP chief executive Marcus Grover said.
He added that refill stations, which are being tested by all major grocers, are “extremely exciting” in showing “how we could shop packaging-free in the future”.
However, he admitted that “we have a long way to go and little time to make big changes”.
Refill trials are taking place in just a handful of stores, and WRAP wants them to become the “behavioural norm for millions more shoppers”.
It also urged more supermarkets to collect soft plastics, which are recycled by a mere 10 per cent of local authorities.
Resources minister Jo Churchill hailed a “real sea change” but admitted there was “more we must do”.
“That is why we are consulting on banning a range of further single-use plastics and… will make manufacturers more responsible for their packaging,” she continued.
It comes after Iceland backed away from its target of going plastic-free by 2023.
Fruit and vegetable sales plunged by a third when the retailer swapped to unpackaged produce, though managing director Richard Walker also put the blame on Covid setbacks.
Instead, Iceland plans to be “plastic neutral”, recycling waste that weighs the same as its “residual plastic footprint”.