UK supermarket Morrisons to switch its own-brand fresh milk to carbon neutral cartons from Tetra Pak, saving 100 tonnes of plastic/year; Morrisons previously moved its own-label fresh juice to cartons, removing another 678 tonnes of plastic/annum

Sample article from our Packaging Industry

February 25, 2022 (press release) –

- Fresh milk is one of the single biggest users of plastic packaging in UK supermarkets -

Morrisons has become the first UK supermarket to sell its own brand fresh milk in carbon neutral cartons*. 

From mid February, nine types of Morrisons fresh milk will be sold in Tetra Pak cartons to save an initial 100 tonnes of plastic a year. Morrisons has also moved the majority of its own label fresh juice - from plastic bottles to cartons - to remove another 678 tonnes of plastic per annum. 

Fresh milk is currently one of the single biggest users of plastic packaging within UK supermarkets, accounting for approximately 10 per cent of all plastic used. 

The new Morrisons fresh milk Tetra Pak cartons are made from plant-based paperboard which is FSC® certified. They feature a very thin layer of plastic coating and twist caps made from polyethylene which is derived from sustainably sourced sugarcane. 

The Tetra Pak cartons have been certified by the Carbon Trust as Carbon Neutral. They are recyclable at kerbside in most UK regions and at recycling banks across the country. 

The nine Morrisons fresh milk products in Tetra Pak cartons come in 500ml, 1 litre and 2 litre sizes and cover skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk options. They are priced at 60p for 500ml, 95p for 1 litre and £1.25 for 2 litres. Fourteen of Morrisons 19 fresh juice products have also moved over. 

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.”

Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Advisory at the Carbon Trust, 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.”

Reducing the amount of single-use plastic in stores is a top concern for Morrisons customers. Morrisons has committed to a 50 per cent 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. 

The move to milk cartons is the latest initiative from Morrisons to remove plastic packaging from its stores and follows other commitments. Morrisons was the first supermarket to introduce paper carrier bags at checkouts in 2019 and launched plastic-free bananas last year. Morrisons is also the only UK supermarket to own its own recycling plant in Fife which will reprocess hard-to-recycle soft plastic.

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*Carbon Trust accredited Carbon Neutral cartons.

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