Morrisons is trialling paper bags at selected stores, with the intention of axing plastic carriers from all of its shops
The UK supermarket chain Morrisons is planning to replace plastic ‘bags for life’ with paper equivalents, following evidence that customers are using the plastic bags only once.
The paper carriers will be trialled at eight stores from today with the intention of rolling them out in all shops. The retailer said ditching ‘bags for life’ altogether would save 3,510 tonnes of plastic waste per year.
“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,” said David Potts, Morrisons’ chief executive.
“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.”
The number of single-use plastic bags distributed by the major supermarkets in England has fallen by 95 per cent since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015. However, millions of plastic ‘bags for life’ are still being issued annually, many of which are used only once.
While campaigners welcomed news that Morrisons is intending to axe plastic bags, Friends of the Earth warned that all single-use items have an ecological footprint.
“All single-use bags have an impact, although the impact of paper bags can be reduced by recycling and ensuring they are made with recycled material,” said Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Julian Kirby. “With the UK facing a waste crisis it’s crucial that more of our products are used again, rather than simply chucked away.”