Supermarkets to stop using black plastic

Supermarkets to stop using black plastic

Five of Britain’s major supermarkets have announced they will drop the use of black plastic in their own brand products by the end of the year. 

Morrison’s began the process last week when they announced that they would stop using black plastic, which accounts for 7% of plastic used by the supermarket, to package their own brand food and drink products. To boost their green credentials packaging will be replaced with a recyclable plastic made from 85% recycled material.

This is another positive step from Morrison’s who have already cut their use of needless plastic annually by 9,000 tonnes. This includes removing 174 million plastic produce bags, 600 tonnes of unrecyclable polystyrene and 1,300 tonnes of plastic bags, replacing them with paper. The latest move will result in 4,000 tonnes of packaging being made more easily recyclable each year and is part of a larger promise by the retailer to make all packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Black plastic is very damaging to the environment. Due to the carbon pigment it is coloured with it cannot be detected by sorting machines at plastic recovery facilities resulting in it ending up in landfill or being incinerated.

Following on from Morrison’s announcement, five other supermarket chains have revealed plans to drop black plastic from their own labelled ranges. Tesco have announced they will have removed all black plastic from their own branded products by the end of the year and are now ‘working with branded suppliers to do the same’. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Asda have also committed to removing it from their products by Christmas with Aldi dropping it from their ranges by the end of 2020.

Asda have recently announced that they removed nearly 45 million ready meal trays containing black plastic from their ranges which alone has removed ‘775 tonnes of previously unrecyclable plastic’. Waitrose are also ‘well on track’ to have fully dropped black plastic from their own brand products by the end of the year with 90% of the 2291 tonnes they were using already having been removed by the end of October. Co-op have also agreed to remove black plastic from over 300 of their lines.

This is another positive step from these supermarkets, many of which have already made commitments to become more environmentally friends and reduce the use of plastics in their stores helping to stop it entering our oceans.