Single use 5p plastic bags were removed from most supermarkets in 2018 for environmental reasons. However, according to Morrisons, there is evidence that customers are buying plastic ‘bags for life’, only to use them once and throw them away.
In an effort to reduce plastic waste, the supermarket now plans on replacing the plastic bags for life with reusable and recyclable paper bags.
When will Morrisons be replacing plastic bags?
Morrisons plans on removing all plastic bags for life from its stores, and instead replace them with large, reusable, white paper bags. The paper bags will cost 30p each, which is the same at the price of the plastic bag for life.
The new bags will have handles, similar to a standard plastic bag for life, and are apparently strong enough to carry heavy weights up to 16kg according to a statement from the supermarket. This weight is the equivalent of 13 bottles of wine.
The bags are 100 per cent PEFC accredited. This means that they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly and are manufactured at an eco-powered site in Wales.
They’ll be labelled as ‘Reusable Paper Bag’, so they are reusable, but also easily recyclable.
Morrisons will continue to offer jute, cotton and reusable woven bag options in all stores, priced at £2.50, £1.50 and 60p respectively.
Where are the trials taking place?
Morrisons plans on trialling the removal of its plastic bags for life across 12 weeks in eight stores.
The trial stores are:
- Four in Yorkshire
- One in Bristol
- One in Abergavenny
- One in Paisley
- One in Cambridgeshire
The trails started on 17 August. Should they prove successful, the initiative will be rolled out nationwide.
What impact will this have on the environment?
Chief executive of Morrisons, David Potts, said, “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 reusable alternative.”
In a statement, Morrisons explained that removing standard plastic bags for life across all Morrisons stores would save 90 million from being used and would remove 3,510 tonnes of plastic a year.
Last year, Morrisons removed and made recyclable 9,000 tonnes of plastic.
The supermarket chain is expected to hit its 50 per cent plastic reduction goal by 2025.