MORRISONS is planning on replacing all plastic bags for life with reusable paper ones that cost 30p.
A trial in eight supermarkets – four in Yorkshire, and one in Bristol, Abergavenny, Paisley and Cambridgeshire – begins today and the retailer hopes to roll it out to all 500 stores if it's successful.
The bags will cost the same as a plastic bag for life costs now, which was hiked up to 30p from 20p last year.
The retailer ditched single use 5p plastic bags back in 2018 to encourage customers to bring their own.
Shoppers who forgot their carriers were able to fork out 20p for the more expensive and reusable plastic bags for life.
But the supermarket says that many customers are still binning them after a single use.
The war on non-recyclable materials will see all plastic bags replaced with paper alternatives, making it the first supermarket to do so.
It follows a trial in Iceland stores last year that banned all plastic bags, unless customers brought their own.
It first introduced the paper bags at checkouts back in 2019 and since then one in three Morrisons customers have switched from plastic to paper.
For those worried that the bags won't be strong enough, the supermarket says that they can carry weights of up to 16kg each – that's equal to 13 bottles of wine.
It might be more difficult to carry frozen foods as the condensation from the packaging may cause the paper to disintegrate.
Shoppers will still be able to buy the jute, cotton and reusable woven bags too but they'll set them back £2.50, £1.50 and 60p each.
Here's how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Hannah Maundrell, editor of Money.co.uk, about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
Of course, the cheapest way to avoid the costs is to bring your own bag.
The paper bags are also 100 per cent PEFC accredited meaning that they are sources from responsibly managed sources, and they can be easily recycled.
Morrisons shoppers use around 90million bags for life a year, according to the supermarket.
The retailer reckons that replacing all plastic carriers from its stores would remove 3,510 tonnes of plastic a year.
Last year, the supermarket says it removed and made recyclable 9,000 tonnes of plastic and that it's on track to hit its 50 per cent plastic reduction target by 2025.
There's no set deadline for when the scheme will be implemented in all stores though but we'll keep you updated as soon as we find out more.
Morrisons boss David Potts said: "We believe customers are ready to stop using plastic carrier bags as they want to reduce the amount of plastic they have in their lives and keep it out of the environment.
"We know that many are taking reusable bags back to store and if they forget these, we have paper bags that are tough, convenient and a reuseable alternative."
In 2018, Iceland re-introduced 10p paper bags in a bid to cut plastic waste.
And in February last year, Aldi scrapped 5p plastic bags and instead introduced reusable ones for 9p.
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