Morrisons is introducing paper carrier bags to all its stores in a move that will save an estimated 1,300 tonnes of plastic a year.
The Bradford-based firm said this is the first time a UK supermarket will offer a competitively priced paper bag to all customers as an alternative to plastic.
Earlier this week environmental campaigner Greenpeace criticised Sainsbury's for not doing enough to tackle plastic waste.
Welsh stores will be the first to offer paper carrier bags next week. They will then roll out to Morrisons’ English and Scottish stores in May.
The paper bags have been trialed in eight Morrisons stores since January and have proved popular with customers.
They are made in Wales from paper from sustainably managed forests and are strong enough to carry heavy weights of up to 16kg. They will be priced at 20p, which will be the same price as Morrisons standard plastic carrier bag.
The paper grocery bags, which can be reused and ultimately recycled, are labelled "Reusable Paper Bag".
Andy Atkinson, group customer and marketing director at Morrisons, said: “We are taking another meaningful step that will remove an estimated 1,300 tonnes of plastic out of the environment each year.
“Our customers have told us that reducing plastic is their number one environmental concern so introducing the paper bag across the nation will provide another way of reducing the plastic in their lives.”
Morrisons has assessed the bag’s carbon footprint and it is equivalent to the standard plastic carrier bag.
Morrisons has introduced a number of measures over the last 12 months to reduce plastic use. They include removing single use 5p carrier bags which led to a 25 per cent reduction in overall bag sales.
It has also encouraged customers to bring their own containers to Morrisons’ butchers and fishmongers counters.
All loose fruit and vegetables will be sold in paper rather than plastic bags and the supermarket chain has removed plastic packaging from many items such as plastic sleeves on cucumbers during the British growing season.