Morrisons has become the first supermarket in the UK to completely ban plastic bags in all stores.
Following the recall of single-use plastic bags in 2017, the grocery store said it hopes to cut 3,200 tonnes of plastic a year by removing its ‘bags for life’.
Instead, customers can buy a 30p paper bag that is grocery store recyclable, water resistant, and can hold up to 16kg.
Paper bags are available with reusable options including string, hemp, cotton and reusable woven bags priced from 75p to 50 2.50.
The removal of plastic ‘bags for life’ will gradually begin in Scotland, starting next year in the UK and Wales.
A total of nearly 100 million plastic bags will be removed, up from 1.9 million per week.
David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, said: “We have been asking our customers hard for the past year and we know they are interested in doing their best to keep plastics out of the environment. The removal of all plastic bags from our supermarkets is a significant milestone in our sustainability program. ”
Customers who order to shop online will be served without plastic bags when the Morrison store is full of orders.
Single-use 5B carrier bags were removed from Morrisons in 2018, but some customers continue to buy stronger and denser plastic ‘bags for life’.
On December 20, Morrisons introduced a 50p price increase for plastic ‘Life for Life’.
Since 2017, Morrisons has removed 10,000 tons of plastic and made it recyclable. Morrisons is on track to hit its 50% plastic reduction target by 2025.
In 2014, 7.6 billion bags were delivered to customers in the UK’s seven largest supermarkets, equivalent to 140 per member of the population.
However, since the tax was introduced in 2015, an estimated 15 billion bags have been taken out of circulation, government figures show.
The average person in the UK now buys four bags a year from major supermarkets, up from 140 in 2014.
Dr Laura Foster, president of the Maritime Safety Association’s Clean Seas, said: “Since the introduction of the 5B carrier bag fee, we have seen a more than 60% drop in the number of plastic bags off the coast of the UK.”
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, at least 5p plastic bags apply to all retailers.
The law was first introduced in Wales in 2011, then in 2013 in Northern Ireland, and in Scotland in 2014 the tariff for all carrier bags was introduced.
The UK released its plastic bag fee on October 5, 2015.
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