The switch came just over a month since the supermarket announced plans to scrap use-by dates on its own-label milk packaging in a bid to prevent waste.
From this month, nine types of Morrisons fresh milk will be sold in Tetra Pak cartons to save an initial 100 tonnes of plastic a year. It also moved the majority of its own-label fresh juice from plastic bottles to cartons to remove another 678 tonnes of plastic per annum.
Tony Fearon, Dairy Category Director at Morrisons, said: “Fresh milk does not need to be in a plastic bottle. It keeps just as fresh in a carton. 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.”
The new cartons are made from plant-based paperboard that feature a thin layer of plastic coating and twist caps made from polyethylene, which is derived from sustainably sourced sugarcane.
Forest Stewardship Council certified and approved carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, the cartons are recyclable at kerbside in most UK regions and at recycling banks across the country.
Commenting on Morrisons’ move to cartons for its fresh milk, Carbon Trust managing director Hugh Jones said: “We welcome this move by Morrisons towards reducing the environmental impact of its milk packaging.
“Our Carbon Trust ‘Carbon Neutral’ label, which will feature on these milk products in their new Tetra Pak packaging, recognises the CO2 reduction of this move and certifies that the cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of the packaging is in line with targets.”
Morrisons has committed to a 50% reduction across its own brand primary plastic packaging by 2025. Since 2017, Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging by over 8,000 tonnes a year and replaced another 7,000 tonnes so that it is fully recyclable.
Meanwhile, Premier Foods is to remove 40 tonnes of packaging from its Bisto Gravy range by reducing the height of the paperboard drum.