Morrisons to allow customers to shop with their own food containers

Friday, 11th May 2018, 9:17 am
Updated Friday, 11th May 2018, 1:00 pm

Morrisons is to allow customers to use their own containers in an attempt to cut down on plastic pollution.

The supermarket announced that anyone buying meat or fish from their Market Street Butcher and Fishmonger counters could take their purchases home in their own packaging.

Previously announced was the discontinuation of black plastic trays, used for fresh meat and fish, which are to be phased out by the end of 2019.

The attempt to reduce waste and pollution follows a commitment to make all its own-brand plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

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A company statement said that Morrisons were "working through all of its own-brand products to identify, reduce and remove any unnecessary plastic packaging", trialling the removal of plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables in a number of stores.

Plastic reduction initiatives already in place include the ditching of plastic straws, introducing paper-stemmed cotton buds, and no longer selling 5p single-use carrier bags.

It also plans to fit water fountains in its new stores, having already made water freely available in its cafés for customers who want to refill their water bottles.

What about the other supermarkets?

Competitors Tesco made national news in January after refusing to let a customer use reusable tubs at the deli counter in one of their Edinburgh stores.

Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for Tesco told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We need to balance our responsibility to sell food in a safe and hygienic way with the feedback we receive from our customers. As part of our ongoing work to reduce the amount of packaging we use, we are actively looking to provide customers with an alternative helpful way of taking food home from our counters.”

The Morrisons announcement comes as the use of disposable plastics comes under increased scrutiny following the attention of high-profile TV shows such as BBC's Blue Planet 2 and they aren't the only supermarket to allow shoppers to use reusable containers.

Waitrose and Sainsbury’s also allow customers to use their own containers at service counters, providing they are clean and have a securable lid.

And although Aldi, Co-op, M&S and Lidl do not have fresh produce counters, fruit and vegetables sold individually in stores can be taken away in the customer’s own packaging if they wish.

Asda has been approached for comment.