This year, Morrisons received a significant accolade by being voted the most environmentally responsible company in the UK for its work on plastics reduction. The was presented at the Responsible Business Awards which are run by HRH The Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Network. It is the most important British awards scheme of its kind.
Morrisons’ own research clearly highlighted that plastic reduction is one of the most important issues that customers are concerned about. As a result, Morrisons were one of the original 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 has committed that all their own-brand plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The entire organisation is working through all of their own-brand products to identify, reduce and remove any unnecessary plastic packaging.
Earlier this year Morrisons introduced the UK’s first large re-useable and recyclable supermarket paper carrier bag. It is made in Wales using paper from sustainably managed forests and is strong enough to carry heavy weights up to 16kg.
This year Morrisons also stopped making any new own-brand products using black plastic packaging. The use of expanded polystyrene has also been completely removed from all food and drink grocery products. It is intended to remove all rigid PVC from packaging by the end of the year.
Many of Morrisons’ loose fruit and vegetables are also ‘naked’ removing 24 tonnes of plastic wrap from stores. If required, small recyclable bags are provided for loose fruit and vegetables. The supermarket chain has also made the decision to remove plastic cotton buds and only stock varieties with paper stems, it also prohibited the use of microbeads in own-brand products.
Annually, 9,000 tonnes of plastic has been removed or made widely recyclable from Morrisons branded products, 81% of own brand plastic packaging is now recyclable.
A senior spokesman recently commented: “We have a responsibility to do the right thing for our customers. It’s important we’re moving towards a circular plastics economy model; reducing, reusing and recycling where possible.
Our ambition is to be a leading corporate in the fight to keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment, to be an example of what good looks like to other corporates and to help more and more customers live their lives with less reliance on plastic.”