PLASTIC-free fruit and veg areas will be introduced at Morrisons branches in a bid to cut non-recyclable waste.

The chain - which has stores at Dorcan Way, Regent Circus and Thames Avenue - claims it is the first British supermarket to roll out the sale of loose produce, with up to 127 varieties of fruit and veg available.

It will, however, continue to sell packaged produce in a neighbouring area if customers do not want to 'buy bagless.'

The new fruit and veg shelves are expected to save an estimated three tonnes of plastic a week, equating to 156 tonnes a year, the supermarket said.

More than one million people have signed a Greenpeace petition, urging supermarkets to scrap throwaway plastic packaging.

Morrisons said its initiative will be introduced at 60 branches during 2019. However, the full list has not been revealed yet.

The project will likely expand to more branches later as part of the supermarket’s ongoing store refurbishment programme nationwide. 

Swindon Advertiser:

Customers can either buy fresh produce as it is, or place it into recyclable paper bags.

The move follows a 10-month trial in three Morrisons stores in Skipton (North Yorkshire), Guiseley (West Yorkshire) and St Ives, where the amount of loose fruit and veg bought by customers increased by an average of 40 per cent. 

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."