MORRISONS is to become the first British supermarket to ban plastic packaging from its fruits and vegetables.

Customers will soon be able to choose from up to 127 varieties of fruit and veg - and buy them loose or put them in recyclable paper bags.

The move comes after a 10-month trial in three Morrisons stores where the amount of loose fruit and veg bought by customers increased by an average of 40 percent.  

The new “buy bagless” fruit and veg shelves are expected to result in a similar switch from bagged to loose, saving around three tonnes of plastic a week, or 156 tonnes a year.

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The announcement from the retail giant comes just a day after Sir David Attenborough warned that plastic pollution is an “unfolding catastrophe” that we “ignore at our peril.”

He made his comments as it emerged a bag and sweet wrappers were found on a record-breaking ocean dive.

The naturalist and wildlife campaigner said plastic in the sea is a “global problem” that demands a response on a global scale.

It has been revealed plastic waste was recently found during the deepest ocean dive on record, which saw explorer Victor Vescovo descend nearly 11 kilometers down into the Pacific Ocean.

Glasgow Times:
(Justin Hofman/Greenpeace)

This is the latest revelation from Morrisons, which made changes that will remove 9,000 tonnes of unnecessary or problematic plastic each year.

The loose fruit and veg areas will be rolled out in 60 Morrisons stores during the course of 2019.

They will then continue to be introduced as part of the supermarket’s ongoing store refurbishment program nationwide, saving even more plastic over time.

Carrots, potatoes, onions, celeriac, apples, pears, oranges, figs, persimmons, pomegranates, cauliflower, white cabbage, chestnut mushrooms and more will all go plastic-free.

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Drew Kirk, fruit and veg director at Morrisons, said: “Many of our customers would like the option of buying their fruit and veg loose.

“We’re creating an area of our greengrocery with no plastic where they can pick as much or as little as they like.

“We’re going back to using traditional greengrocery and we hope customers appreciate the choice.”