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Iceland, the UK retailer, to become ‘plastic neutral’

by Sangam Paudel, Nov 17
1 minute read

Iceland, a major UK retailer, announced plans to work with Singapore-based company Seven Clear Seas to offset its plastic footprint by recovering and recycling nature-bound waste plastic in an equivalent weight to its own plastic usage. This is following on its earlier plans to remove plastic packaging from all of its own brand products.

plastic pack lot

So what?

The idea of plastic neutrality is similar to that of ‘net zero’. While both require reductions (in plastics or carbon emissions), the mechanisms allow ‘offsetting’, i.e. plastics (or carbon) that cannot be reduced directly in one’s operations can be offset by capture (of plastics or carbon) in another sector or region.

Carbon offsetting has received criticisms for overpromising and greenwashing. A similar response can be expected in the case of the emerging plastic offsetting industry. While certification systems and frameworks are still being set for the plastic offsetting industry, a true global reduction in plastics will always need to maintain its focus on designing out plastics waste rather than on recovery and reuse.



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