UK supermarket Morrisons has reintroduced paper grocery bags to replace plastic, in efforts to tackle the problem of single-use plastic. The paper bags will be available for customers to use for fresh fruit and vegetables, and customers are encouraged to bring in their own containers for other delicatessen counters in stores.
The supermarket have said that this will save 150 million plastic bags each year, with single-use grocery bags currently not charged for. The law to charge 5p on plastic carrier bags from retailers was introduced in 2015. Since the charge was introduced, the number of plastic bags has reduced by more than 80 per cent in England, according to Government information.
The war on single-use plastic has been in the public eye and at the forefront of companies’ minds, with Blue Planet II bringing awareness to the issue with shocking footage of marine life suffering at the hands of plastic.
Morrisons is one of the companies who have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, committing to making all of their plastic in stores reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025.
In the Government’s 25 Year Environmental Plan, single-use plastics has been a dominating issue, and food service providers and retailers are taking heed of the measures being put in place. Coffee stirrers, plastic straws, bags and plastic cutlery are being reduced or phased out. McDonald’s announced that paper straw trials are taking place, with the transition to paper straws starting in September.