1. Introduction

Morrisons is committed to ensuring all packaging is fit for purpose and complies with all relevant legislation including but not exclusively:-

  • The Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations
  • Food Contact Materials (FCMs) Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004
  • Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations
  • Plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (EU No 10/2011)
  • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

This policy needs to be read in conjunction with all relevant legislation as well as current best practice guidance from WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) and the OPRL (On Pack Recycling Label). All own brand suppliers, as a minimum, to adhere to the aims and targets relating to Plastics PACT.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all products which are sold under the Morrisons brand, and/or other marks or brands owned by or exclusive to Morrisons as well as all products on Market Street. Where stated, this policy also includes secondary and transit packaging.

This policy should be considered by our Branded Product suppliers as a demonstration of our values as a business and approach to packaging. We expect branded products to adhere to the key principles that underpin this policy, which informs ranging decisions for all products we sell.

3. Morrisons corporate packaging targets


  • Replace all coloured PET packaging with clear
  • Removal of polystyrene
  • Removal of PVC film


  • 50% reduction in own brand primary plastic packaging vs 2017 baseline
  • 100% of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable
  • 30% average recycled content in our plastic packaging
  • 70% of plastic packaging to be recycled

4. Requirements

The purpose of packaging is to contain and protect the product throughout its life. Food safety, protecting the products from damage and preserving shelf life is the priority of the packaging.

4.1. Packaging net environmental impact - Where we are changing packaging formats, materials and design, we must not increase the net environmental impact taking into consideration greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.

4.2. Packaging optimisation - Good packaging uses the minimum amount of material required to protect the product and present it in a format suitable to meet the customer’s needs.

As a producer of packaging, we have an obligation to reduce the amount of packaging we put on the market as well as make it as reusable and recyclable as possible.

4.3. Food waste - The principle requirement for packaging is to ensure that products get to the customer’s home in the best condition minimising food waste all the way through.

4.4. On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) -  You need to ensure you are using the most up to date OPRL guidelines at all times.

4.5. Designing to support recycling - When choosing packaging it is important that we also consider its end of life. We need to ensure that wherever possible that the packaging we use is considered recyclable as per the OPRL ‘recycle’ definition.

4.5.1. Rigid plastics

4.5.2. Plastic films

4.5.3. Cardboard/ Paper

  • The preference is for recycled cardboard/ paper to be used over virgin materials.
  • Where virgin cardboard/ paper is required it must be sustainably sourced. The sustainability principles for paper and cardboard sourcing for packaging can be found in Morrisons Timber Policy.
  • Where cardboard or paper is laminated with plastic for functionality, It cannot exceed 5% by weight for the cardboard/ paper to be recyclable. 
  • Glitter on paper and board at any level is prohibited.
  • Any metalized plastic laminated board e.g metalized polyester board (metpol) is not recyclable and should be avoided.
  • The use of PFAS on paper and board packaging is to be removed by the end of 2021 due to the health and environmental issues of using this chemical. 

4.5.4. Triggers - All triggers must be recyclable. They must have no metal or glass components and all plastic components must be compatible with the main polymer and less than 5% in weight of the overall trigger.

4.5.5. Small components and tear off bits - Small components and tear off bits (TOBs) should be avoided where possible. 

4.5.6. Post-consumer waste recycled content in packaging - By committing to specific minimum levels of material made from post-consumer recycled waste (PCR) we will support the circular economy by generating a demand and hence value for recycled plastics. We aim for a minimum of 30% PCR required in our plastic packaging

4.5.7. Packaging made from glass - Where possible green glass should be used. Green glass has a significantly higher recycled content than clear/ flint glass and hence has a lower carbon footprint.

4.5.8. Biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging - Currently we do not support the use of biodegradable or compostable plastics due to the lack of end of life options.

4.5.9. Degradables - Oxo-degradable additives to our packaging or products are not permitted.

4.5.10. Renewable source polymers - It is possible to produce the base polymers from renewable sources, such as ethanol derived from sugar cane, as opposed to fossil fuels. It is important to ensure that the renewable source for these materials is both sustainable and not competing with the food supply chain.

4.5.11. Other rigid packaging materials (compostable, recyclable) - Bagasse, Palm Fibre, Rice Straw, Wheat Straw, Barley Straw, Oat Straw, Other plant fibres - We do not currently support the use of these materials, as customers would not have a way of responsibly disposing of them.

4.5.12. Secondary and Tertiary packaging

  • All secondary and tertiary packaging film must be polyethylene (LDPE, MDPE, HDPE).
  • No PVC is permitted for use for flexible or rigid packaging.
  • Any rigid plastic secondary packaging must be made from PET with a high percentage of PCR
  • All cardboard packaging must be easy to flatten so that it is easy to recycle in store.