UK – British supermarket chain, Iceland Foods Ltd has launched plastic-free reusable woven bags that will see the retailer expand its alternatives to traditional plastic bags.

The new bags are a combination of paper and cotton and provide customers with a strong, reusable bag that has been designed to match the performance of existing woven bags.

Iceland will launch the bags in all of its stores across the country as it continues to monitor customer feedback for all its plastic-free innovations.

The bags will cost £1.00 each and will be sold alongside sustainably sourced reusable and recyclable paper bags (30p) and insulated freezer bags (£1.50).

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “We know that many customers are still using ‘bags for life’ only once so we have been working hard to create an alternative plastic-free reusable solution.

“Nearly 500 million plastic bags for life were sold last year in the UK – a steep decline in recent years – but this figure is still far too high.

“These new paper cotton bags will offer our customers a strong, reusable alternative to plastic bags. We’re looking forward to seeing how customers respond to these new bags as part of our wider plans to reduce our plastic footprint.”

This is the latest in a long succession of industry-leading plastic removal projects, as the retailer continues to lead the UK’s grocery sector in its fight against plastic. In 2019, Iceland became the first UK supermarket to trial plastic bag-free stores.

The retailer continues to lead the way in the fight against plastic, recently becoming the first major UK supermarket to fully publish its plastic footprint.

The increased adoption of reusable bags has been aided by the implementation by the UK, a new tax designed to curb the production of single-use plastics.

Manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging must pay £200 (US$262) per ton for any plastic made of less than 30% recycled materials.

The government projects the measure could save 200,000 tons of carbon emissions in its first year, and boost demand for recycled materials by 40%.

But industry groups warn that it will raise costs for consumers, especially for food packaging that can’t always be made from recycled plastic.

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