MSE News

Morrisons to double price of plastic bags to 20p – and offer paper bags too

Pictures to show how Morrisons is giving customers the option of using large paper carrier bags in eight of its stores from this week. The trial is a response to customers who have told Morrisons reducing plastic is their number one environmental concern. The new US-style paper grocery bags have handles and are a similar capacity to standard plastic carrier bags.  They are 100% PEFC accredited meaning they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly.  

Priced at 20p each the paper grocery bags, which can be reused and ultimately recycled, are labelled 'Reusable Paper Bag'. As part of the trial, Morrisons is also increasing the price of standard plastic carrier bags from 10p to 15p to further reduce plastic use. This follows Morrisonsâ   removal of the 5p carrier bags early in 2018 which led to 25% reduction in overall bag sales.  This 15p standard plastic carrier bag is produced in the UK and is made from recycled material reclaimed from Morrisons stores. 

For more information, please contact the Morrisons press office at The Academy on 020 7100 7100 or morrisons@theacademypr.com

Morrisons will next week double the price of a reusable plastic bag from 10p to 20p – and then start rolling out a new 20p paper bag to stores across the country. 

The supermarket started a trial at eight stores in January, which involved offering customers a 15p reusable plastic bag or a 20p reusable paper bag. But it now says all of its 494 stores will offer both plastic and paper bags for 20p.

Plastic bags will cost 20p at all Morrisons stores from Monday 8 April. The new paper bags, which are made in Wales from 'sustainably sourced' forests and can hold up to 16kg in weight, will be available in all Welsh stores from next week and in English and Scottish stores from May.

See Supermarket Shopping Tips for help on cutting your shopping bill, plus our 13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash.

What do other supermarkets charge for plastic bags?

All large retailers are required by law to charge a 5p levy on single-use plastic bags, in a bid to reduce plastic waste. The Government is currently consulting on whether to increase the charge to 10p and extend it to all retailers in England. Paper bags are exempt from the charge.

But Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco have all scrapped the 5p single-use plastic bags altogether – a move which Morrisons says has cut bag sales by 25%.

Instead, the major supermarkets now sell reusable plastic bags, or 'bags for life':

  • Sainsbury's sells two different reusable plastic bags, charged at 5p or 10p.

  • Aldi, Asda and Lidl charge 9p (although Lidl is currently trialling phasing out its 9p plastic bags as well).

  • Tesco charges 10p.

What does Morrisons say?

Andy Atkinson, group customer and marketing director at Morrisons, said: "We are taking another meaningful step that will remove an estimated 1,300 tonnes of plastic out of the environment each year.

"Our customers have told us that reducing plastic is their number one environmental concern, so introducing the paper bag across the nation will provide another way of reducing the plastic in their lives."