Morrisons becomes first supermarket to stop selling plastic carrier bags – Totally Vegan Buzz
Morrisons becomes first supermarket to stop selling plastic carrier bags
Image: Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock.com

“We have been listening hard to our customers over the past year and we know that they are passionate about doing their bit to keep plastics out of the environment.”

UK supermarket Morrisons has pledged to become the country’s first supermarket to ditch plastic carrier bags completely.

While single-use 5p carrier bags were removed by Morrisons in 2018, customers continued to use the stronger ‘bag for life’ introduced in December last year.

However, following a successful trial in eight of its stores last year, the retailer has expanded the drive to all of its 500 stores nationwide.

Plastic removal drive

The removal of plastic ‘bags for life’ will be done in a phased manner beginning in Scotland this month and continuing in England and Wales over the course of the next 12 months.

 The move will see 100 million plastic bags removed, the equivalent of 1.9 million per week and 3,200 tonnes of plastic saved each year.

To keep plastics out of the environment, customers will be offered paper bags that are reusable, recyclable, water-resistant, tear-resistant, and can hold up to 16kg.

These will cost 30p. In addition, the supermarket will also offer other reusable options including string, jute, cotton, and reusable woven bags, costing between 75p and £2.50.

‘Significant milestone in sustainability programme’

David Potts, the chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We have been listening hard to our customers over the past year and we know that they are passionate about doing their bit to keep plastics out of the environment.

“Removing all of the plastic bags from our supermarkets is a significant milestone in our sustainability programme.”

Other supermarket initiatives 

Major supermarkets in recent years have rolled out initiatives to reduce plastic pollution.

While Waitrose is currently trialling the removal of its 10p bags for life in selected locations, Sainsbury’s 20p bags for life are made from 100% recycled plastic.

Aldi has pledged to remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from its stores by 2025 – roughly equating to 2.2 billion single plastic items.

Last year, Lidl GB revealed plans to further reduce its own-label plastic packaging by 40% by 2025 after it met its pledges of cutting back on its plastic use by 20% between 2017 and 2022.

Asda for its part has not implemented any measures as it says that its plastic bags for life are a “sustainable alternative to single-use carrier bags… particularly given the concerns around CO2 emissions related to the paper-bag production process,” according to a BBC News report.

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