Morrisons has today pledged to become the first 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.