Morrisons brings back traditional brown paper bags to cut plastic waste

Supermarket will also reward customers who bring reusable containers for meat or fish

Ben Chapman
Monday 25 June 2018 11:21
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The new paper bags will have a see-through paper panel to help customers and staff identify the contents
The new paper bags will have a see-through paper panel to help customers and staff identify the contents

Morrisons will bring back traditional brown paper bags for fruit and vegetables as part of a range of measures aimed at cutting plastic waste.

The new paper bags will have a see-through paper panel to help customers and staff identify the contents.

Theresa May has called plastic waste “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”.

In January, the prime minister unveiled plans to cut “avoidable” plastic waste by 2042, but campaigners say more urgent action is needed to stem the flow of plastic reaching the oceans and damaging marine life.

Morrison’s said on Monday it would allow customers to use their own containers for meat and fish, rewarding them with 100 loyalty points when they do so.

The country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain will also aim to ensure all plastic packaging on own-brand products is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Currently 82 per cent of plastic in the supermarket’s packaging is recyclable, Morrison’s said.

Black plastic trays used for meat, which are difficult to recycle, will be phased out by the end of next year, the retailer said.

In January, Iceland became the first UK supermarket chain to pledge to go plastic-free on own-brand products.

Morrisons will begin trials into the effect of removing plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables in a number of stores. It is also signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, an industry initiative which aims to reduce plastic use.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “Reducing the damage caused by plastic is one of the most challenging issues society can address.

“Because we make most of the fresh food we sell, we’re in an important position to make changes to our packaging.

“Joining WRAP’s Plastic Pact also offers a special opportunity to work collaboratively to take this opportunity.”

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