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Will Morrisons ditch plastic bags?

Morrisons plans to become the first supermarket to remove all plastic carrier bags at checkouts
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Will Morrisons ditch plastic bags?

If a trial in eight stores proves popular, Morrisons will remove all plastic ‘bags for life’ from its checkouts.

Single-use 5p carrier bags were removed from most major supermarkets in 2018, but customers are still buying plastic ‘bags for life’, which are stronger and thicker.

In some cases, there is evidence they are being used once before being binned. 

Morrisons is therefore planning to remove all plastic bags for life from checkouts and is offering large reusable paper bags at eight stores from today (17 Aug).

Shoppers get final say

Morrisons says removing standard plastic bags for life across all its stores would save 90 million from being used, and would remove 3,510 tonnes of plastic a year. 

Morrisons was the first supermarket to introduce paper carrier bags at checkouts in all of its 494 stores at the start of last year. Since then they have proven popular with customers, with one in three switching from plastic to paper bags. 

The supermarket ‘will listen to customers’ before making the decision to remove plastic bags across the nation. 

A tough paper bag

The Morrisons paper bag has handles, a similar capacity to a standard plastic bag for life and is strong enough to carry heavy weights up to 16kg (the equivalent of 13 bottles of wine).

The bags are 100% PEFC accredited, meaning they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly, and are manufactured at an eco-powered site in Wales. Labelled ‘Reusable Paper Bag’, these bags can be reused and easily recycled.

‘We  believe customers are ready to stop using plastic carrier bags as they want to reduce the amount of plastic they have in their lives and keep it out of the environment.

‘We know that many are taking reusable bags back to store and if they forget these we have paper bags that are tough, convenient and a re-useable alternative.’

Chief Executive of Morrisons

Plastic reduction

Morrisons will also continue to offer jute, cotton and reusable woven bags options in all stores, priced at £2.50, £1.50 and 60p respectively.

The introduction of paper carrier bags in 2019 followed Morrisons’ removal of the 5p plastic carrier bags early in 2018.

Last year Morrisons removed and made recyclable 9,000 tonnes of plastic. The supermarket is on track to hit its 50% plastic reduction target by 2025, against a 2017 baseline.

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