Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020 08:38 GMT

Morrisons set to switch from plastic to paper bags

Supermarket chain Morrisons has revealed that it is considering withdrawing all plastic bags for life in favour of a switch to paper-based bags.

Morrisons currently offers a choice of plastic or paper bags across its network of UK stores, but from this week, will trial a paper bag-only scheme at eight sites.

If the trial proves to be a success, the retailer says it could roll out the initiative on a wider basis, with the potential for it to become company-wide policy.

Campaign groups in the print industry have long championed the use of paper over plastic, with the former offering a more environmentally-friendly option.

The paper-based bags will also continue to be printed, with each set to carry the Morrisons logo, complete with information about how the bags, including how they are kinder to the environment than their plastic counterparts.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts explains in a statement: “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 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.”

Supermarkets and other retailers in England have been required to charge for single-use plastic carrier bags since 2015, when the government introduced a minimum 5p charge per bag.

However, there is no such requirement for paper-based bags, with these offering a greener option for the retailer as they have less impact on the environment and can be more easily recycled.

Most supermarkets and some retailers introduced so-called ‘bags for life’, which are made from plastic and other materials stronger than traditional carrier bags, with the idea that consumers re-use them for future visits.

However, Morrisons says there is little evidence these bags are being re-used and, as such, continue to negatively impact the environment.

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