Morrisons to swap from plastic to cartons for milk: How to capitalise on sustainable packaging trend


Did you know that fresh milk is one of the single biggest users of plastic packaging within UK supermarkets, accounting for 10 percent of all plastic used?

Morrisons has become the first UK supermarket to sell its own brand of fresh milk in carbon neutral cartons. Nine types of Morrisons fresh milk will now be sold in Tetra Pak cartons to save an initial 100 tonnes of plastic a year.

With this news, you might be wondering how you and your business can capitalise on the sustainable packaging trend. Keep reading to find out more.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Although the ‘three r’s’ may have lost some of the initial impact they had before they were plastered everywhere, the three important words act as a means of putting responsibility on the customer. However, the three r’s can actually be applied to the production of packaging products:

Reduce – can we reduce the packaging in size?

Reuse – will the material be able to be used again during its life cycle?

Recycle – will the material used to produce a package recycle and break down In the landfills?

Responsible packaging vendors have created many new products to replace older and environmentally unsound products like the plastic cartons used for milk in the vast majority of supermarkets. Investing in a digital cutting table is one way that your company can work towards capitalising on sustainable packaging trends.

Sustainable forestry

Using sustainable products sends a clear message to customers that your company holds itself accountable to the needs of the environment. Although packaging is just one small part of a product’s overall environmental footprint, to customers, it’s the first thing they see and put their hands on.

Additionally, a smaller packaging footprint helps to cut corporate costs, while adding to an environmentally friendly product. An easy way for you to capitalise on the sustainable packaging trend is to review each of your product lines to see if the size and quantity of materials could be reduced in a way that still meets your marketing objectives.

As a rule, companies who are interested in capitalising on the sustainable packaging trend must take into account a few considerations. Ideally, you should look for a packaging supplier that is certified by Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forestry Stewardship Council. Companies that work with these certified packaging vendors automatically gain a marketing advantage because the firms have the authority to print the highly recognised sustainable logo on each item they produce.

On top of that, the vendor should work to show evidence that they’re putting these practices into effect in their own work by using equipment that is energy saving and recycling all materials they use.

Replacing plastic

Depending on the type of plastic, it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, so materials that can replace plastics are undeniably in high demand. IKEA has begun testing packaging made from mushrooms, replacing Styrofoam packaging with MycoComposite, a combination of agricultural waste and mushroom root.

Final thoughts

As you can see, as we strive to be more environmentally conscious, many businesses are swapping traditional packaging for sustainable alternatives – and, with these top tips in mind, you can too.