Morrisons has started refilling customers’ water bottles in its petrol stations to reduce “on-the-go” plastic waste.
The Big 4 grocer trialled the top-ups in August last year and saw water bottle sales decline by a fifth.
It comes after a potential Morrisons buyer indicated it could sell off the supermarket’s 338 forecourts.
“When we listen to customers, it’s clear they want us to help them reduce the amount of single-use plastic they throw away,” Morrisons sustainability manager Natasha Cook said.
“We know that customers often pick up a bottle of water when paying for petrol, so offering free water should be an effective way of reducing these single-use plastic bottles.”
Research suggests more than six in 10 would like to use less plastic but do not have a viable alternative.
Around 39 million plastic bottles are used every day, most of which are thought to be bought on-the-go or at work.
Morrisons has also installed 300 water fountains in the Food-to-Go sections of its stores.
Natalie Fée, founder of environmental group City to Sea, praised Morrisons’ “big steps” in reducing plastic use.
“Plastic water bottles are one of the most commonly found single-use plastic items on our beaches and in our oceans,” she said.
“We have to make refilling our water bottles the new normal.”
However, prospective Morrisons buyer Fortress has indicated it may sell off the supermarket’s petrol stations after completing a multi-billion takeover.
The private equity firm recently upped its bid to 272p-a-share.
Two months ago, Morrisons announced it was reintroducing glass milk bottles to 11 stores across Kent and Sheffield.
The move is meant to save around 40,000 plastic bottles every year, though at 90p a pint it is almost double the price of Morrisons milk elsewhere.