Supermarket giant, Sobeys, will be eliminating plastic bags by the end of this month, along with four other grocery store chains.
FreshCo, Safeway, Foodland and IGA stores, which are all owned by Sobeys, will all start to phase out plastic grocery bags and instead offer customers paper bags for their shopping needs.
Sobeys has also introduced a line of reusable mesh produce bags made from recycled water bottles to provide customers with an alternative for their fresh produce.
The removal of plastic bags is a first step in the retailer’s journey toward eliminating unnecessary plastic from their grocery stores.
“This is a first step, and we plan to make meaningful progress every year to take plastic out of our stores and our products. We decided to act now instead of taking years to study and only make long-term commitments,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO, Empire.
The supermarket giant made the announcement last summer, and has pledged to have plastic bags removed from 255 locations across Canada.
IGA stores on Montreal Island launched a campaign in September that aimed to encourage reusable bag adoption as part of Sobeys’ larger misson to reduce plastic use in their store.
The program designated parking spots for customers who brought reusable bags, and there were promotional IGA offers on reusable bags and boxes to encourage customer use.
Sobeys estimates that removing plastic bags from their stores, along with all other banner store will have a great impact.
They estimate that the change will take 225 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation.