UK supermarket chain, Morrisons will encourage shoppers to bring their own plastic conatiners to the meat and fish counter in exchange for 100 loyalty card points, the equivalent of 10 pence. The move comes as part of a series of pledges to reduce plastic pollution, including guarantees that all own-brand plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Morrisons is due to becomes 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. Morrisons’ strategy to reduce plastic pollution include:
Allowing customers to use their own containers for meat and fish from the Morrisons’ Market Street Butcher and Fishmonger counters from May.
Working through all of its own brand products to identify, reduce and remove any unnecessary plastic packaging.
Trialing 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 for 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 5 pence single-use carrier bags.
David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons, comments: “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 reports a reduction in the weight of packaging used across its Market Street counters by 50 percent (10,000 tons).