Morrisons becomes the first UK supermarket to ban the sale of plastic ‘bags for life’ in stores

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Morrisons becomes the first UK supermarket to ban the sale of plastic ‘bags for life’ in stores

  • Supermarket saves 3,200 tons of plastic per year by removing ‘bags for life’
  • The Bradford grocer said customers can purchase reusable paper bags
  • The move comes after a trial with only paper bags in eight of its supermarkets

Morrisons has said it will be the first UK supermarket to completely remove plastic carrier bags from its stores.

The Bradford-based grocer plans to throw out its ‘bags for life’ while customers can buy reusable paper bags instead.

The move, which comes after a trial using only paper bags in eight of its supermarkets, will save Morrisons 3,200 tons of plastic every year.

It comes nearly three years after single-use plastic bags were removed from 497 UK stores.

Morrisons has said it will be the first UK supermarket to completely remove plastic carrier bags from its stores

Morrisons has said it will be the first UK supermarket to completely remove plastic carrier bags from its stores

The removal of the plastic ‘bags for life’ will be phased in and will begin in Scotland this month, followed by England and Wales over the next year, Morrisons said.

It added that the policy will remove nearly 100 million plastic bags in total.

Instead, paper bags with handles will be used – which cost 30p and are capable of carrying up to 35 pounds of groceries.

They will be available alongside other reusable options, including jute, cotton and reusable woven bags, for £ 2.50, £ 1.50 and 75p respectively.

Alternatively, customers can bring their own carrier bags from home.

Bradford-based grocer plans to throw away its 'bags for life' so customers can buy reusable paper bags instead

Bradford-based grocer plans to throw away its 'bags for life' so customers can buy reusable paper bags instead

Bradford-based grocer plans to throw away its ‘bags for life’ so customers can buy reusable paper bags instead

Cost of bags at Morrisons
Type Cost
Paper 30p
Woven 75p
Cotton £ 1.50
Jute £ 2.50

David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, said: “We have listened carefully to our customers over the past year and we know they are passionate about doing their part to keep plastic out of the environment.

“The removal of all plastic bags from our supermarkets is an important milestone in our sustainability program.”

Supermarkets started charging for plastic bags in England in 2015 after the government introduced a 5p levy on single-use carriers in an effort to reduce their use – with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland launching their own initiatives had.

In the past year alone, Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose have sold more than 226 million bags.

But according to the environmental service, that was 322 million (59 percent) less than in 2018-2019 Defra

This means that the average person in England now buys only four bags a year from major supermarket chains, compared to 10 last year and 140 in 2014, reducing sales of single-use plastic carrier bags by 95 percent.

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