Food Distributors Reduce Plastic Use

The use of plastic in food distribution in Iceland has been reduced considerably in recent years. This applies to the packaging of meat and vegetables produced in Iceland. The trend is expected to continue in coming years, Morgunblaðið reports.

According to information from Ferskar kjötvörur, the meat division of Hagar retail company, the company’s recent measures are expected to reduce the use of plastic by 30 tons a year. As a result, shipping costs will be saved, since the company only needs to import one container of packaging a year instead of twelve.

Jónas Guðmundsson, the company’s director of quality control, states that plastic trays for meat have lately been replaced with ones made of paper. Not only is the new packaging environmentally friendly, he notes, but also increases the shelf life of the meat by a few days.

Similar changes have occurred at Íslenskt grænmeti, the sales association of Icelandic vegetable producers, where plastic use has been reduced by 60 percent since 2002. Marketing director Kristín Linda Sveinsdóttir reports that the association plans to gradually move toward the use of biodegradable packaging.

“What we’re doing now is replacing all the plastic cups for tomatoes and small cucumbers. In addition, cherry tomatoes and strawberries will be wrapped in biodegradable packaging,” she states.

This fall, potatoes will be wrapped in biodegradable film and mesh bags. “We’ve been replacing our packaging, and little, by little, we plan to switch to biodegradable material. The packaging will be marked as such,” Kristín Linda states.

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