Iceland has joined forces with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, A Plastic Planet and Surfers Against Sewage to call for the retail and wider business sector to commit to enhanced transparency in reporting on plastic consumption.
The Government is also being called on to amend the Environment Bill to incorporate mandatory plastic packaging reporting and UK plastic pollution reduction targets within forthcoming legislation.
In a leading move, Iceland has published its entire plastic packaging footprint which includes both own label and branded products, and extends to secondary and tertiary packaging, across its UK and international businesses. Earlier this year, Iceland announced a 29% reduction in its own label plastic packaging since January 2018 as part of a commitment to removing it entirely by the end of 2023.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “Our message is clear. Without transparency, and government enforced reduction targets, we will not be able to judge whether business actions are delivering real progress. That is why today Iceland is calling on retailers and other businesses to step up and commit to publishing their total plastic packaging transparently, including both own label and branded products. For several years now, businesses have been using incomplete information to represent the scale of their plastic packaging, their commitments to change, and the progress being made. We will all be better served by a more accurate and transparent picture on this issue.
“What we are asking from all major retailers and businesses is straightforward as they are already subject to PRN reporting and will be in the future to the Government’s planned EPR scheme, so this will require no extra costs or resources.
“We have a huge challenge ahead that can only be solved by businesses and policy makers working together, in tandem with fully informed consumers sharing a completely clear picture of both the country’s and individual businesses total plastic packaging. Increased recycling is important but won’t solve the issue on its own. Regulated commitments to reduce plastic pollution are also vital if we are to deliver positive progress in face of the sheer scale of plastic making its way into the environment.
“When Iceland made its commitment on own label plastic packaging in 2018, we promised to provide regular updates to our customers along our journey, and we are now once again leading the way by proactively publishing our full plastic footprint.”
See Iceland’s Plastic Packaging Footprint 2019 here.
Read the full press release here.