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At the end of June, Morrisons announced plans to bin disposable plastic bag packaging for fruit and vegetable products. This follows a commitment that all of its own-brand plastic products would be recyclable by 2025. The popular budget supermarket chain has introduced a raft of measures to help the company make more sustainable waste collection and clearance choices with single use plastics.

A lesson in responsible waste collection from Morrisons

The recent measure introduced by Morrison’s looks set to cut approximately 150 million small plastic bags a year.

But this isn’t the only way in which Morrisons are setting an example. Customers who bring their own plastic containers will also be offered loyalty cards in reward for their sustainable practices.

There are a number of other small ways that they’ve managed to become more waste friendly as well. Their cafés now exclusively stock paper straws and each of the stores now has a ‘recycling point’ outside the entrance.

Is it just Morrisons?

It’s not just Morrisons, but they do seem to be operating more responsible waste policies than many other businesses. Large nationwide chains like McDonald’s and Wetherspoons have recently rolled out sustainable plastic straws.

Ekoplaza supermarket in the Netherlands has even pioneered a completely plastic free aisle.

Unfortunately, it’s not currently at the levels we need to see if we are to transition into a fully sustainable circular economy. Plastic packaging is still the default setting in most supermarkets up and down the country, and there’s still more than a little resistance from the retail sector towards any significant reforms.

A brief history of paper bags

As older readers and fans of old BBC shows will know, paper bags are by no means a modern innovation. In fact, it’s within the last 3-4 decades that plastic wrapping has become a mainstay in our supermarkets – and bins. In fact, some innovations like bagged salad are only as recent as 2000.

There are a few main reasons why plastic packaging became the norm. Firstly it helps protect and preserve the food produce during transportation. In the globalised world of the 1980s, where food arrived from further afield than before, this was an important benefit.

Plastic packaging certainly plays its part in food production. But as the world became increasingly aware of its dangers earlier this year, companies and governments everywhere have pledged to try and reduce unrecyclable waste collection as much as possible.

Maybe Morrisons isn’t you’re cup of tea – and we’re not saying you should only shop from them from now on. But if you want to play your part in reducing unsustainable waste clearance, then having a think about how sustainable supermarkets’ waste practices are could be a great way of doing that.

If you’re looking for waste collection services of your own and are looking for the best person for the job – then you’re in the right place.

Contact us right here.

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Matthew

6th July 2018

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