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Pink Lady packaging

Iceland is claiming a supermarket first with the launch of plastic-free packaging for Pink Lady apples.

The usual plastic packaging has been replaced with a cardboard tray and paper band, in a trial rolling out to all Iceland’s nearly 1,000 stores.

The move would save seven tonnes of plastic a year, Iceland said, building on a 3,794-tonne saving already achieved since the start of 2018, when the business committed to making all own-label lines plastic-free by the end of 2023.

Iceland has been experimenting with packaging fruit & veg in alternatives to plastic since the start of 2020, after scrapping a loose produce trial because sales suffered. The retailer moved 38 lines to new packaging that reduced plastic content or eliminated it altogether as of January last year.

It said today it was also gearing up to put more mushroom and potato lines into plastic-free packaging in April and May, after customers responded positively to a trial launched in October involving button mushrooms and baby new potatoes.

Read more: Is Iceland’s new packaging trial really the best way forward?

“We are continuing to innovate our packaging as we continue on our journey to completely remove plastic from our own-label ranges by the end of 2023,” said Iceland MD Richard Walker.

“We have worked hard to ensure this new paperboard packaging for our Pink Lady apples does not compromise the quality of the product whilst helping to reduce our plastic footprint.

“It’s great to see positive customer feedback to our plastic-free packaging trials with produce such as mushrooms and potatoes. Every successful trial continues to support the permanent rollout of plastic-free alternatives and takes us another step towards meeting our commitment.”

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