Nine types of Morrisons fresh milk will be now sold in Tetra Pak cartons to save an initial 100 tonnes of plastic a year. Morrisons has also moved the majority of its own label fresh juice - from plastic bottles to cartons - to remove another 678 tonnes of plastic per annum.
Fresh milk is currently one of the single biggest users of plastic packaging within UK supermarkets, accounting for approximately 10%.
The new Morrisons fresh milk Tetra Pak cartons are made from FSC certified plant-based paperboard. They feature a thin layer of plastic coating and twist caps made from polyethylene derived from sustainably sourced sugarcane.
The Tetra Pak cartons have been certified by the Carbon Trust as Carbon Neutral. They are recyclable at kerbside in most UK regions and at recycling banks across the country.
The nine Morrisons fresh milk products in Tetra Pak cartons come in 500ml, 1 liter and 2 liter sizes and cover skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk options. They are priced at 60p for 500ml, 95p for 1 liter and £1.25 for 2 liters. Fourteen of Morrisons 19 fresh juice products have also moved over.
Tony Fearon, dairy category director at Morrisons, 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. Tetra Pak has also been independently verified as a better sustainable packaging option. If customers take to it, we could be looking to move all of our fresh milk to Tetra Pak cartons in time.”
Hugh Jones, managing director of advisory at the Carbon Trust, 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.”
Morrisons has committed to a 50% reduction across its own-brand primary plastic packaging by 2025. Since 2017, Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging by more than 8,000 tonnes a year and replaced another 7,000 tonnes so that it is fully recyclable.
The move to milk cartons is the latest initiative from Morrisons to remove plastic packaging from its stores. It was the first supermarket to introduce paper carrier bags at checkouts in 2019. Morrisons is also the only UK supermarket to own its own recycling plant in Fife, Scotland, which will reprocess hard-to-recycle soft plastic.