Plastic reduction

Morrisons switches own brand milk to cartons

Cartons will replace plastic bottles at Morrisons

Supermarket chain Morrisons has switched its own-brand fresh milk from plastic bottles to Tetra Pak cartons in a further response to customer demands for sustainable packaging.

The move follows data revealing that fresh milk accounts for about 10% of all plastic packaging used in supermarkets.

Morrisons says the switch to cartons will save an initial 100 tonnes of plastic a year. Morrisons has also moved the majority of its own label fresh juice – from plastic bottles to cartons, removing another 678 tonnes of plastic per year.

The cartons are made from plant-based paperboard and contain a ‘very thin’ layer of plastic coating while using twist caps made from polyethylene derived from sugarcane.

They will be kerbside recyclable in most regions, as well as recycling banks across the country.

Tony Fearon, dairy category director at Morrisons, said: “Fresh milk does not need to be in a plastic bottle. It keeps just as fresh in a carton.

“Fresh milk is the top user of plastic packaging in our stores, so this will result in significant plastic reduction. Tetra Pak has also been independently verified as a better sustainable packaging option. If customers take to it, we could be looking to move all of our fresh milk to Tetra Pak cartons in time.”

Hugh Jones, MD of advisory at the Carbon Trust, said its ‘carbon neutral’ label will feature on the cartons.

Morrisons has committed to cutting its own brand primary plastic packaging by half over the next three years. Since 2017 it has cut out over 8,000 tonnes of plastic a year and replaced a further 7,000 tonnes so that it is fully recyclable.

The company was the first supermarket chain to introduce paper carrier bags at checkouts in 2019 and owns a recycling plant in Fife which will reprocess hard-to-recycle soft plastic.

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