ICELAND CALLS ON ALL SUPPLIERS FOR SUPPORT IN ACHIEVING PLASTICS REMOVAL PLEDGE
- Retailer is working with some of the UK’s biggest food and drink brands and food manufacturers to find alternatives to plastic
- Ten point manifesto launched to focus efforts and outline approach
- Brands have offered support in response to the action, pledging enhanced collaboration
Iceland has written to all of its suppliers, including some of the UK’s biggest brands, to secure their support in delivering its industry-leading plastics commitment.
In January 2018, Iceland committed to eliminate plastic packaging from its own label products by the end of 2023, and has now sent two separate letters, signed by Joint Managing Directors, Richard Walker and Nigel Broadhurst, to more than 400 suppliers.
The letter sent to branded suppliers, whose ranges are not included in Iceland’s pledge, outlined the retailer’s progress to date and suggested further collaboration and shared learnings on plastic reduction.
A letter sent to own label suppliers updates them on Iceland’s progress and asks for their continued support in the retailer’s journey towards becoming plastic free across its own label product range. Iceland is already working closely with its 100+ own label suppliers on the pledge, through regular working groups, category-specific action plans and regular site visits to facilitate testing and implementation where appropriate.
Included as part of both letters is an outline of Iceland’s newly-launched Plastic Free Packaging Manifesto: a ten point plan outlining how the retailer will work in partnership with its suppliers to turn down the tap on global plastic production.
Iceland has seen a positive response to the request for enhanced collaboration so far, with many responses confirming support and a shared ambition to remove plastic as quickly as possible.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “We have been working in close partnership with our suppliers since making the commitment, and see their support as crucial in expediting our plastics removal project. We are proud of the positive relationships we have with our suppliers, and the response so far has been particularly reassuring and reflective of the mutual support between our businesses.
“Although our commitment only affects our own label products, we also wanted to write to our branded suppliers to encourage them to join us in working to reduce plastic production, and offer to share our learnings so far.”
Richard added: “We believe that collaboration across the industry is the key to tackling the scourge of plastic and would welcome any business to join us in our mission to turn down the tap on this pervasive material.”
Helen Nickells, Head of Packaging at Young’s Seafood, outlined support for the action taken: “Young’s Seafood continue to work closely with Iceland to turn down the tap on plastic packaging production. Iceland have approached their supply base with a spirit of collaboration that is helping us to meet Iceland’s own objective to remove plastic by 2023 and helping Young’s to reduce single use plastics, completely remove black plastic and make the plastics we do use easily recyclable.”
A spokesperson for Birds Eye said: “We share Iceland’s passion for sustainability and are fully committed to playing our part in delivering the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals where we have the knowledge and expertise to genuinely make a difference.”
“Nomad Food is committed to achieving 100% recyclable packaging by 2022 and 75% of our portfolio will be recyclable by early 2020.”
“Birds Eye is constantly looking for ways to recycle and reduce excess packaging. A lot of our products are already packed into cartons and since our products are for in-home use we do not use single use plastic consumer packaging. Our focus is on moving our bags to recyclable materials and reducing excess packaging, we have a number of projects underway in this area. Nomad Foods are actively participating with the Plastics Pact with WRAP to work towards a circular plastics economy.”
Since it made its pledge, Iceland has removed 2,100 tonnes of plastic and implemented a series of industry-leading trials.
Iceland was recently recognised with The Grocer’s ‘Best Retailer Initiative’ award for its efforts in reducing plastic across its Christmas range, the retailer’s latest move to offer products in reduced plastic or plastic-free packaging.