Morrisons plans to scrap reusable bags for life and return to paper

Morrisons plans to scrap reusable bags for life and return to paper

August 25, 2020
Lloyd Fuller

UK supermarket chain Morrisons is trialing paper bags instead of reusable plastic bags for life as all leading supermarkets attempt to cut plastics use

From 17 August, the supermarket became the first big supermarket group to replace the plastic bags for traditional paper ones in eight of its stores. If the switch is successful, the company plans to remove bags for life from its 493 stores.

Morrisons says the paper bags have handles, and can carry up to 16kg, the equivalent of 13 bottles of wine – matching its plastic counterparts.

The bags are 100% PEFC accredited – meaning they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly and are manufactured at an eco-powered site in Wales. Labeled ‘Reusable Paper Bag’ – they can be reused and easily recycled at kerbside.

The supermarket chain said there was evidence bags for life are being used once before being thrown away.

Scrapping plastic bags for life would save 90 million plastic bags being used each year, the equivalent of 3,510 tons of plastic per year.

Morrisons will also continue to offer jute, cotton and reusable woven bag options in all stores, priced at £2.50, £1.50 and 60p respectively.

Morrisons’ chief executive, 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 re-useable alternative.”

The introduction of paper carrier bags in 2019 followed Morrisons’ removal of the 5p plastic carrier bags early in 2018. Last year Morrisons removed and made recyclable 9,000 tons of plastic. The supermarket is on track to hit its 50% plastic reduction target by 2025, against a 2017 baseline.

Sainsbury’s announced last year that it was the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables, and bakery items.

Meanwhile Tesco said it stop using plastic bags for online deliveries, which will save nearly 2,000 tons of plastic a year.

The rescheduled Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will now take place virtually – live and on-demand – on Monday 9 November and Tuesday 10 November. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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