Morrisons have announced that they will be scrapping the fresh milk plastic containers that account for roughly 10 percent of all plastic packaging in the UK. Instead they will use a carbon neutral alternative for its own-brand milk and own-brand fresh juice in an effort to reduce waste.
Morrisons will be the first supermarket to make such a move that will see their milk decantated into cardboard, plant-based cartons over the plastic ones they currently use.
Carbon neutral Tetra Pak cartons are made from plant-based paperboard that will be used for nine types of Morrisons fresh milk and will save approximately 100 tonnes of plastic each year.
These nine products have been given certification by the Carbon Trust, Carbon Neutral and the Forest Stewardship Council.
Managing Director of Advisory at the Carbon Trust, Hugh Jones, said: “We welcome this move by Morrisons towards reducing the environmental impact of its milk packaging.
“Our Carbon Trust ‘Carbon Neutral’ label, which will feature on these milk products in their new Tetra Pak packaging, recognises the CO2 reduction of this move and certifies that the cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of the packaging is in line with targets.”
The new cartons will cater for sizes of 500ml, one litre, and two litres, and will cover skimmed, semi-skimmed, and whole milk.
Dairy Category Director at Morrisons Tony Fearson 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.”
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The new plant-based cartons are not entirely plastic free as they contain a thin layer of polythene for the twist caps and plastic coating.
However, the plastic will reportedly be produced from sustainably sourced sugarcane and will be 100 percent recyclable in most regions.
The cartons are labelled as kerbside recyclable as well as in recycling banks.
The move will be celebrated by Morrisons customers whose top concern is said to be single-use plastics in stores.
Morrisons have introduced more than one eco-friendly, sustainable initiative after they were the first to axe ‘use by’ dates on milk, instead opting for ‘best before’ dates on the majority of their milk products.
The initiative which was introduced in January is thought to encourage consumers to reduce their waste by only binning the milk once it no longer smelled fresh.