Morrisons makes milk packaging switch

The cartons come in 500ml, 1 litre and 2 litre sizes
The cartons come in 500ml, 1 litre and 2 litre sizes

Supermarket Morrisons is claiming a first after switching its own-brand milk to cartons from plastic bottles.

From the middle of this month nine types of Morrisons fresh milk have been sold in Tetra Pak cartons, a move that Morrisons said would save 100 tonnes of plastic a year. 

“Fresh milk is currently one of the single biggest users of plastic packaging within UK supermarkets, accounting for approximately 10% of all plastic used,” the retailer stated.  

It said it was the first UK supermarket to make the move.

Fourteen of Morrisons 19 fresh juice products have also switched from plastic to carton packaging. 

The move has also been supported by explanatory point-of-sale materials flagging the move. 

Display materials highlight the benefits of the change 

Tony Fearon, dairy category director at Morrisons, commented: “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.”

Morrisons described the Tetra Pak cartons as being made from “plant-based paperboard”. The board is also FSC certified. The packs involve a very thin layer of plastic coating, while the twist caps are made from polyethylene derived from sustainably sourced sugarcane.

The new cartons are recyclable at kerbside “in most UK regions” and at recycling banks. The Carbon Trust has certified the cartons as Carbon Neutral. 

Morrisons said that reducing the amount of single-use plastic in stores was a top concern for its customers. The group, which has nearly 500 stores across the UK, has committed to a 50% reduction across its own brand primary plastic packaging by 2025. 

Tetra Pak has set a goal of creating “the world’s most sustainable food package”, with cartons made solely from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, fully recyclable and carbon neutral.