UK supermarket Morrisons to re-introduce paper grocery bags to reduce single-use plastic

Read Time:   |  26th June 2018

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In a move that will mean 150 million fewer plastic bags are used each year, UK supermarket Morrisons is reviving traditional paper grocery bags for loose fruit and vegetables. 

morrisons paper bag

Image credit: Mikael Buck/Morrisons/PA.

Morrisons supermarket has just started selling fresh produce in old-style paper grocery bags, rather than the plastic ones which have become increasingly popular in recent years, as it tries to cut down on the use of plastics in store.

The paper bags are being rolled out now and will be in all of the supermarket chain’s 493 stores by the end of the summer. Made from 100% recyclable paper, they have a see-though paper strip to help shoppers and staff identify the produce inside.

The supermarket chain, which is the UK’s fourth largest, says it will mean 150 million fewer plastic bags are used each year. The paper grocery bags will be available for customers wishing to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, and customers are also being encouraged to bring in their own containers for other delicatessen counters in stores, with the supermarket offering 100 loyalty card points as an incentive.

“We’ve listened to customers’ concerns about using plastic bags for fruit and vegetables and that is why we are bringing back paper bags,” said Drew Kirk, a produce director at the supermarket.

The supermarket chain recently made the decision to completely remove single-use plastic bags from stores to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags to carry their shopping home in. The company has also signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, committing to making all of their plastic in stores reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025.

In 2015 a law was bought into play that meant retailers began to charge customers 5p to purchase a single-use plastic bag. Encouragingly, since the charge was introduced, the number of plastic bags has reduced by more than 80 per cent in England, according to Government information.

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