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Morrisons to Replace Plastic Bags with Paper for Fresh Produce

Morrisons to Replace Plastic Bags with Paper for Fresh Produce

Morrisons to Replace Plastic
Bags with Paper for Fresh Produce

The supermarket Morrisons has started selling its fresh produce in brown paper bags instead of plastic ones, as it tries to reduce its use of single-use plastics.

The supermarket, which is the fourth largest in the UK, estimates that switching to paper bags will result in them using 150 million fewer paper bags every year.

The UK government has set a target to ban all avoidable waste by 2042 and all supermarkets are taking steps to reduce the use of plastics.

Interest in the issue of plastic and plastic pollution increased dramatically after the BBC aired Blue Planet II, which showed how much plastic debris was floating around in the ocean and what effects it was having on wildlife.

By 2015, around 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste had been generated, and almost 80% of this ended up in landfill or in the natural environment.

Morrisons is the latest of the big supermarkets to introduce measures to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics. In January this year, Iceland pledged to eliminate or reduce plastic packaging used for its own-brand products.

Marks & Spencer say that by 2022, all its packaging will be "widely recyclable." The company is also replacing plastic cutlery with wooden alternatives and switching to paper-based straws rather than plastic ones.

In April, some of the major supermarkets joined others in industry and signed up to WRAP’s Plastic Pact. As part of this, they pledged that all of their plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Is paper really better for the environment than plastic?

It takes more energy to produce plastic bags and it also creates more CO2 emissions. While paper bags are heavier than plastic bags meaning it takes more energy to transport them, paper is definitely better for the environment.

Sustainable forests are being grown to replace the trees cut down to make the paper bags and they remove carbon from the atmosphere so they help tackle climate change.

Paper also decomposes easily and quickly into natural products while plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and when it does, it dissolves into tiny particles that work their way into the food chain.

Morrisons’ extra efforts

Morrisons says its paper bags are made from 100% recyclable paper. They will have a see-though strip so that the produce inside can be identified. The supermarket is also encouraging customers to bring in their own containers when they buy produce from the butcher or fishmonger, and when they do, they’ll get extra loyalty points.

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