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Iceland Trials Linerless Labels for Plastic Free Pledge


Iceland has set out to remove all plastic from its own label range in their ‘Plastic Free by 2023’ pledge. To date, the retailer has saved 850 tonnes of plastic. To further drive this initiative, for meeting the 2023 deadline, Iceland is now moving away from packaging their fruit in plastic. The decision has been made to begin trialling new plastic-free packaging for their range of conference pears. Previously, Iceland’s pears were hand filled into plastic poly bags and plastic punnets. The retailer wants to fully automate the entire process for reducing labour and ultimately, lessening its carbon footprint. Iceland is aiming to become totally carbon neutral by 2045 and will be considering alternative sustainable packaging and labelling solutions, across all ranges of own label foods.


Iceland decided to adopt Ravenwood’s linerless technology with a ‘Fruit Lid’, applied to a cardboard tray. Both the label and the tray are fully recyclable. Linerless labels feature no backing paper and are highly sustainable. The packaging and label application is processed by Keelings International Ltd, based in Newmarket, Suffolk. Oliver Dent, Commercial Manager at Keelings, discussed Iceland’s requirements with ProPrint Group, a Ravenwood approved UK linerless printer. Ravenwood then designed a totally new label concept that would also keep the pears secure in the cardboard tray.


Iceland conference pear fruit packs are now on sale in 10% of the UK’s Iceland stores. The packaging and labelling is a 100% reduction in plastic and totally recyclable. Pending the successful trial, it will save 15 tonnes of plastic per year.


‘Fruit Lid’ Linerless Label – Key Features:

  • 250gsm ‘Food Grade’ material
  • Punched with three holes to allow visibility of the fruit
  • The holes also allow air to circulate for freshness, as well as providing a carry handle
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Attractive presentation at POS
  • 100% sustainable and recyclable
  • No label liner = zero landfill
  • Increased surface print area: top and underside for added information
  • Fully automated application

Tray – ‘Food Grade’ Cardboard

  • Fully recyclable

In addition to the label design, Ravenwood supplied Keelings with a

Nobac 5000L linerless applicator, fitted with an extended outfeed for applying the labels at its factory in Newmarket, Suffolk.

An ICE Viper TIJ, to print date and traceability information, has been integ

rated, including a Trojan Flash Labeller.

Ravenwood Nobac 5000L – Key Features:

  • Inline machine designed for maximum flexibility
  • Eliminates the need to turn the packs
  • Capable of applying 100mm – 225mm wide labels
  • Pack speeds of up to 70ppm* are achievable (*general range for system)
  • Linerless labels allow for more labels per roll, resulting in longer runs and increased uptime
  • With automated sleeving, customers can benefit from reduced costs and labour
  • Wasted printed labels on changeovers minimised by printing at point of application
  • Eliminate wasteful and non-recyclable backing paper
  • Reduce landfill disposal costs
  • Linerless reels weigh up to 40% less and take up 40% less space than those with carrier backing paper
  • Increase in production efficiency

Oliver Dent, Keelings Commercial Manager, was asked if Iceland had further plans to roll out linerless to any additional ranges of own label fruit, he said:

“Absolutely, depending on how the trial performs, we are keen to explore various sizes and dimensions of trays to maximise the number of products we can extend this technology to. The new linerless label looks very good and has a premium look and feel, bringing the pack presentation to a whole new level. This coupled with the total elimination of plastic, is helping Iceland meet its plastic-free pledge.”


Iceland Foods is a leading British frozen food retailer with more than 900 stores throughout the UK, with a further 40 owned or franchised stores across Europe. Iceland continues to invest heavily in technology and initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. Their ‘Doing it Right’ plan supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Visit the Iceland website here>


Keelings International Ltd is an Irish-owned family business and started producing fruits and salads in the 1930’s. The Company has expanded to its current size with 5 divisions and iscommitted to sustainability, driving a cleaner and greener environment through the reduction of emissions, pollution and resource use where possible. Keelings is a verified member of Origin Green and are using this framework to promote sustainability principles across all of its activities. Visit the Keelings website here>


ProPrint Group is a packaging and label supplier to the fresh food market. The label converter rebranded in 2016 and then went on to become a Ravenwood UK approved linerless printer with the purchase of a Com500 Coater. Their focus lies on providing their customers with environmentally friendly labelling and packaging solutions. They specialise in promotional labels for next day delivery, as well as own branded products. In addition to their label range, they also supply cartons produced from paper and board. Visit the ProPrint website here>

CLICK HERE For more information on Ravenwood’s Linerless technology.

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