Iceland and Waitrose have both launched new initiatives aimed at safeguarding the environment.

Iceland has vowed to stop using palm oil as an ingredient in its own-brand food by the end of 2018, warning that it drives the destruction of rainforests.

The retailer will remove the product from 130 food lines, which will reduce demand by more than 500 tonnes per year.

The frozen-food specialist – the first UK supermarket to take such action on this issue – said it was alerted to the dangers of palm oil by Greenpeace.

Speaking to the BBC, Iceland managing director Richard Walker said: “Until such a time as there is genuinely sustainable palm oil that contains zero deforestation, we are saying no to palm oil.

“There will be an extra cost but we think it’s the right thing to do.”


Meanwhile, Waitrose wants to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn as it strives to reduce plastic and packaging waste.

The grocer, which gifts its myWaitrose loyalty scheme members a free hot drink with any purchase, said customers will need to bring their own reusable cup instead.

The removal of disposable cups, which will save more than 52 million cups a year, will initially take place in nine stores from the end of this month. 

Following the trial, the scheme will be rolled out nationwide in a phased programme. 

Waitrose head of sustainability and responsible sourcing Tor Harris said: “We realise this is a major change, but we believe removing all takeaway disposable cups is the right thing to do for our business and are confident the majority of customers will support the environmental benefits.”

“It underlines our commitment to plastic and packaging reduction, and our aim is to deliver this as quickly as possible.”

The changes mean myWaitrose members will not be able to claim a free hot drink in the John Lewis-owned grocer’s 180 in-store cafés. 

Instead, members who purchase a tea or coffee in a café will be given a choice of food options free or with a discount.