Morrisons has today (20 September) pledged to become the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags from all of the bananas sold in its stores. Bananas are the second most commonly bought product in Morrisons stores.
From today, new paper bands will start to replace the bags that currently package some bananas. This will mean that 45 million single-use plastic bags (180 tonnes of plastic) will be removed from Morrisons stores a year. It follows a successful trial for 12 weeks that has removed over two million pre-packed plastic bags to date.
The new strengthened paper bands, made from FSC certified paper, will ensure that banana bunches remain intact. The bands will feature: Country of Origin; Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and Soil Association Certification information; and, barcodes. Their roll out will be completed in six months.
The ban is part of Morrisons drive to reduce plastic and revert back to traditional grocery packaging methods.
Morrisons recently launched a glass milk bottle trial in which bottles of milk are delivered directly to its supermarkets by local dairy farms. Once returned by customers, the bottles are collected, sanitised and can be reused for ten years or more.
Morrisons was also the first supermarket to reintroduce paper and string bags for fruit and veg, to provide sturdy paper carrier bags at checkouts and to refill customer containers at its Market Street counters, to avoid single use plastic packaging.
Elio Biondo, Banana Buyer from Morrisons, said: “Bananas have their own packaging - their skins. They also grow in bunches which generally means they don’t need bagging together. So a simple sturdy paper band is the ideal alternative. In trials the quality of the bananas has remained the same, so this switch out of plastic is a no-brainer.”
Morrisons has committed to a 50 per cent reduction across its own brand primary plastic packaging by 2025. Initiatives introduced over the last 12 months will remove 8,000 tonnes of unnecessary or problematic plastic each year. Eighty-three per cent of Morrisons own- brand plastic packaging is now able to be recycled.
In 2019 Morrisons was voted the most environmentally responsible company in the UK for its work on plastics reduction at the Responsible Business Awards, run by HRH The Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Network.
Headquartered in Bradford since 1899, Morrisons is a British food retailer with around 113,000 colleagues in 498 stores serving millions of customers every week.