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Morrisons aims to increase bread bag recycling

Morrisons has launched a front-of-pack recycling scheme that it claimed would help customers recycle more plastic packaging, including plastic bread bags.

Under the scheme, the retailer is inviting customers to bring back low-density polyethylene (LDPE), used on products such as bread and potatoes, and films, which is found on the likes of toilet roll, to all stores as they often aren’t included as part of kerbside collections. These products will have a ‘Recycle Me In Store’ logo on all bags.

They will be collected in large recycling bins, positioned at the front of all Morrisons stores, before being sent for recycling into carrier bags or bin bags.

Items that are widely recycled through kerbside collections, such as plastic milk and drinks bottles, will be labelled with a ‘Please Recycle Me’ icon.

The scheme will initially feature 400 lines, which account for more than 500 million items sold by the retailer every year. Morrisons said other products would be included in the future, where appropriate.

In addition to the front-of-pack logos, labels on the back-of-pack will give details on all of the packaging components used, clarifying whether they can be recycled and where.

The move follows research by Morrisons, which showed that two-thirds of customers are not confident whether they can recycle some plastics – including plastic wrap around toilet rolls (66%), and plastic bread bags (62%). However, the research also revealed that 90% of customers were more likely to recycle if there was a simple, clear message on the front of packaging.

“Our customers tell us they want us to reduce packaging and, where we can't remove it, they want to recycle it. So, we are putting clear icons on the front of 400 popular purchases – and inviting customers to bring back packaging they can't recycle at home. The clear 'at a glance' labels on the back of our packaging are also designed to help our customers recycle – whether pots, tubs, trays, bags, film, bottles or glass,” said Natasha Cook, packaging manager at Morrisons.

Both Hovis and Allied Bakeries, which manufactures Kingsmill and Burgen, have sought to increase the number of bread bags sent for recycling this year. Hovis teamed up with recycling firm TerraCycle to help increase the amount of bread bags sent for recycling. Meanwhile, Allied added on-pack recycling labels to its brands, encouraging consumers to recycle them at plastic bag collection points, often found in most major retailers’ stores.


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