Iceland becomes the first supermarket to remove plastic bags from one of its stores in London trial



The frozen food retailer will be running the plastic bag-free store trial in its Hackney, east London, store. Customers will instead be offered “extra-strong paper bags” for 15p, lighter weight paper bags for 10p or a range of other biodegradable and natural fibres such as cotton or jute.

To coincide with the trial, Iceland will also offer 15p paper bags alongside plastic bags in 25 stores across North Wales, Wirral and Cheshire. This trial will then roll out across 10 stores in the Greater Manchester region from August 10.

Iceland said it estimated the two trials would “collectively save over 210,000 plastic carrier bags from being newly purchased”.

Both trials will run for six months and the retailer said the findings would be “analysed throughout and used to inform Iceland’s long-term approach to replacing single-use plastic carriers”.

The grocer was the first to commit to being plastic packaging free on its own-label products by the end of 2023.

Managing director Richard Walker said: “We know that many customers are using ‘bags for life’ only once and the retail industry needs to work together to challenge this behaviour and find alternative solutions. Over 1.2 billion plastic bags for life were sold last year in the UK and this needs to change drastically.

“These trials will help us to understand how our customers feel about removing one of the most common objects associated with plastic, the supermarket carrier bag, and how they respond to various alternatives. We’re looking forward to seeing how customers respond and using the results of the trials in our wider plans to reduce our plastic footprint.”