Morrisons is today announcing a number of measures to reduce plastic pollution as well as committing that by 2025 all of its own-brand plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Morrisons will also be one of the signatories to WRAP’s UK Plastics PACT, an industry initiative which aims to transform the way businesses use plastic and prevent plastics polluting the environment.
The company is taking steps to reduce plastic pollution which includes:
· Allowing customers to use their own containers for meat and fish from the Morrisons’ Market Street Butcher and Fishmonger counters.
· Working through all of its own brand products to identify, reduce and remove any unnecessary plastic packaging.
· Trialling the effect of removing plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables in a number of stores. The aim is to look at how plastic packaging, which keeps food fresh, can be reduced without increasing food waste.
· Making more packaging recyclable. One of the first pieces of packaging to be replaced will be black plastic trays, used for fresh meat and fish. They will be phased out by the end of 2019.
· Fitting drinking water fountains into new stores. Morrisons has already made water freely available in its cafés for customers who want to refill their water bottles.
The company is taking action as its own research says that plastic reduction is now the third most important issue to Morrisons customers.
Currently, 82 percent of the plastic by weight in the supermarket’s packaging is recyclable. To achieve the 100 percent target, it will be collaborating with suppliers, other retailers, local authorities and WRAP.
Plastic reduction work already completed includes:
· Morrisons no longer buys plastic drinking straws
· Morrisons now only buys cotton buds with paper stems rather than plastic ones
· Morrisons no longer sells 5p single-use carrier bags
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.”
Since 2010, Morrisons has reduced the weight of packaging used across its Market Street counters by 50% (10,000 tonnes).