Climate Action

Morrisons supermarket to trial plastic bottle return scheme

Morrisons has become the latest retailer to trial a scheme to increase plastic bottle recycling.

  • 18 July 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

UK supermarket Morrisons has become the latest retailer to trial a scheme to increase plastic bottle recycling.

Two stores in Skipton and Lindsayfield will now come with vending machines which allow customers to return any plastic bottle and receive store coupons as a reward. Alternatively, they can donate 10p to cancer charity CLIC Sargent, one of Morrisons’ partners.

“We want to play our part in making sure plastic bottles are collected and recycled,” said Andrew Clappen, Morrisons’ group corporate services director.

If successful the trial will be rolled-out to other stores and Morrisons pledged to “listen to customers” on their own views.

The scheme adds to Morrisons’ growing commitments to tackle plastic pollution throughout its stores and within its supply chain. The food retailer, the fourth largest in the UK, has pledged to make all its own-brand plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. This commitment was made as part of a wider campaign, endorsed by over 50 major manufacturers, including Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Tesco.

Morrisons has also stopped buying plastic straws and only buys cottons buds with paper stems instead of plastic ones. The company’s own research has suggested that plastic waste is one of the most important issues to its customers.

The UK Government announced plans earlier this year to introduce a similar scheme across England in a bid to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics.  Iceland was the first supermarket to voluntarily adopt a similar scheme; its vending machines also repay customers with a 10p voucher.

At the time, Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP, commented that: “It is absolutely vital we act now to curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled. Support from businesses will be a vital part of ensuring we leave our environment in a better state than we found it.”


Photo Credit: Billy McCrorie/CC