Iceland imports ice cubes by the ton!
The Nordic island nation sells imported ice cubes at a price far below that of Icelandic ice cubes in its grocery stores. The price of Icelandic ice cubes can be as much as 40 percent higher than that of the imported ones. The ice cubes come from places such as Norway, the UK and the US.
According to Rannveig Magnusdottir, a biologist of the Icelandic Environment Association, the situation is ”completely insane” and consumers need to know that such an import leaves a large carbon footprint.
She said, “I find this completely insane, as I’m sure most people do, and I think our cousins in Norway and Scotland laugh at the fact that they can sell Icelanders ice.”
“Transporting ice between countries has a great environmental impact, because the ships emit green house gases. Therefore, it’s incomprehensible how it can be cheaper to purchase ice that has been frozen abroad and transported by ship across the Atlantic, rather than making it here at home.”
“This is accompanied by a huge carbon footprint, which for sure does not go into the price,” she added.
Grocery stores in Iceland are said to often display imported ice cubes to be more visible than the Icelandic ones, and to this Rannveig remarked, “In that case, this is a marketing effort, and the placement is intentional to encourage people to choose this product.”
She also says she isn’t sure whether Icelandic consumers realise that what they’re purchasing is imported. Most consumers neither check a product’s description nor its country of origin, she stated.
Rannveig further stated, “Maybe people are in fact being deceived in a way. If we, consumers, don’t express our disapproval regarding these matters, then nothing happens, and we, as consumer, have great power; we can decide not to buy these products, or put our foot down and say, ‘Enough is enough. Give us Icelandic products!’”
In Iceland, glaciers and ice caps cover 11.1% of the land area, and this has a considerable impact on its landscape and meteorology.