Plastic & Packaging

Plastic & Packaging Highlights


reduction in own label packaging since 2017

We publish our entire Iceland packaging footprint


plastic bottles recycled through a reverse vending machine trial


the use of difficult to recycle black plastic, polystyrene and PVC

Plastic reduction

We achieved global headlines in 2018 when we pledged to remove plastic from our own label packaging, a commitment that stimulated debate and encouraged others to take action. We hoped to do that by the end of 2023 – but with the challenges of the Covid pandemic and the rate of change within the industry, we now know it will take longer. However, we remain as committed as ever to finding new solutions. So far, we have removed more than a fifth of the plastic from our own label food packaging.

We have also pledged to reduce our overall packaging by 10% by the end of 2023 v 2018 and to introduce 100% recyclable packaging across our own-label food by the end of 2023.

Transparent reporting

In 2020, Iceland joined forces with four of the UK’s leading campaigners against plastic pollution – Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, A Plastic Planet and Surfers Against Sewage – to urge the Government to ensure mandatory reporting on plastic packaging and UK plastic pollution reduction targets. In addition, we called on other big businesses to commit to enhanced transparency in reporting on all plastic packaging consumption.

We committed to publishing our total plastic packaging footprint annually, reporting transparently on all own label and branded products. By working towards #OnePlasticFootprint, we can all ensure real progress is delivered.

Our innovation

Front of store plastic recycling

In March 2022 we rolled out front of store plastic recycling to all Iceland The Food Warehouse stores. The new front of store recycling bins have been specifically set up to allow customers to recycle flexible plastic film items including carrier bags, bread bags, produce bags and magazine wraps, which typically cannot be recycled at home.

Our #TooCoolForPlastic manifesto

Back in 2018, we published a unique manifesto to help tackle plastic pollution. We shared it with our entire supply chain so that we can work together to find innovative solutions to reducing and removing plastic.

We commit to:

  • Remove plastic packaging from Iceland own label products – because it is essential to turn down the tap on global plastic production.
  •  Collaborate with and support our suppliers, and work with competitors and the packaging industry to find solutions.
  • Focus on materials that our customers can recycle easily at home and provide clear on-pack recycling information.
  • Minimise or remove packaging without creating more food waste or compromising food safety.
  • Go back to basics and use traditional materials like paper, board, glass, metal and wood.
  • Work quickly to remove PVC (polyvinyl chloride), polystyrene and black plastic, which are all very difficult to recycle (now complete).
  • Use widely recyclable plastic such as HDPE, PE, PP and PET*, but in smaller and smaller quantities as our journey progresses.
  • Use composite materials that are mainly made of paper and board but include small amounts of plastic – while we look for ways to replace it.
  • Lobby the Government to put in place national food waste collections for industrial composting alongside the consistent collection of a core group of packaging materials for recovery and recycling.
  • Report on our progress and what we have learned at the end of each year.

*High density polyethylene, polyethylene (film), polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate.