Morrisons has removed black plastic from all of its own-brand food and drink packaging by – making it the first supermarket to do so.
Black plastic packaging is extremely difficult to recycle because its carbon black pigments make it invisible to optical sorting equipment at plastic recovery and sorting facilities.
This means it is being disposed of in landfill or incinerated instead.
“It’s important to our customers that we make it easier to recycle plastic and so we are very pleased to announce that we’ve been able to eliminate black plastic from our own-brand products,” said Natasha Cook, Packaging Manager at Morrisons.
Morrison’s currently used nearly 4,000 tonnes of black plastic a year – nearly a tenth of its total plastic use.
The move is part of the retailer’s drive to make all packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
That drive has removed 9,000 tonnes of unnecessary or problematic plastic each year.
This includes 174 million plastic produce bags removed from fruit and veg aisles, 600 tonnes of unrecyclable polystyrene removed from branded food and drink products and a further 1,300 tonnes of plastic being removed as a result of introducing paper carrier bags.
Industry-wide plastic reduction
Morrison’s removal of black plastic is the latest step from the retail industry to curb plastic pollution after David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series escalated concerns among the public about its effects.
The programme showed plastic pouring into the oceans and wreaking havoc upon marine wildlife.
Last month, Tesco said it was ditching plastic ready-meal trays, yoghurt pot lids, straws and loose fruit bags in the latest stage of its drive to cut out non-recyclable packaging.
The UK’s biggest supermarket chain said it was aiming to remove 1bn pieces of plastic by the end of next year from its own-label products.
Tesco admitted that 13 per cent of packaging on its own-brand products was hard to recycle, such as the black plastic used for microwave meal trays, which it said it would remove by the end of this year.
Published on inews.co.uk