Comfortable in their own skins: Morrisons scraps plastic packaging for bananas

·2-min read
Morrisons bananas - Doug Jackson/PinPep
Morrisons bananas - Doug Jackson/PinPep

Wrapping bananas in plastic has always seemed like overkill – and at Morrisons, it appears common sense has prevailed.

The supermarket chain is abandoning the plastic bags it uses to wrap the fruit, calling the decision a "no-brainer" because bananas have their own skin.

Bunches will instead be held together with a paper band made from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and printed with country of origin, environmental certification information and barcodes.

Bananas are Morrisons' second most commonly bought item, and tests have shown that replacing the bags with a paper band does not increase damage to the fruit.

Elio Biondo, banana buyer at Morrisons, said: "Bananas have their own packaging – their skins. They also grow in bunches which generally means they don't need bagging together.

"So a simple sturdy paper band is the ideal alternative. In trials, the quality of the bananas has remained the same, so this switch out of plastic is a no-brainer."

An earlier move to do the same thing by rival supermarket Iceland was beset by delays in 2019 after it found parts of the fruit snapped or went rotten. Iceland first introduced paper packaging for bananas in 2018 and said it would be moving to the next phase of its rollout in the weeks ahead.

Morrisons said trials that lasted 12 weeks saw the quality of bananas stay the same and also removed the need for more than two million pre-packed bags. The change, which will be completed over the next six months, will mean 45 million single-use plastic bags will be removed from its stores each year – equating to 180 tonnes of plastic.

It comes as part of a drive against single-use plastic among several UK supermarkets. Morrisons and the Co-op have both ditched plastic bags entirely, removing thicker, heavier Bags for Life from sale after figures showed many households were buying new ones every time they shopped.

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