Sobeys to eliminate plastic bags in early 2020

by Morinville News Staff

Sobeys is the first national grocery chain to announce it is eliminating plastic bags.

Sobeys announced Wednesday that it would remove plastic grocery bags from all its grocery stores by the end of January 2020. The move is estimated to take 225 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation each year.

The company says it is planning to phase out plastic grocery bags and introducing paper bags in their Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland and other stores.

“So many of our customers and our employees have told us loud and clear — they want us to use less plastic – and we agree with them,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO, Empire. “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. We’re taking action now, making a tangible difference today and into the future. This is a significant first step, but it’s only a first step. We need to go further, and we will.”

Beyond phasing out plastic bags, the company says it will put unique programs in place to further reduce plastics in other areas of the store.

Part of that plan includes encouraging customers to choose reusable bags. Starting in August, Sobeys will roll-out reusable mesh produce bags made from recycled water bottles for the produce department.

“It’s time for change, and we will not stop innovating and bringing to market new ways to remove avoidable plastic from retail,” said Vittoria Varalli, Vice President, Sustainability. “We are working with our industry partners and key stakeholders on eradicating plastics from the system. There are many factors to balance like food waste and food safety when assessing the need for packaging in the grocery retail supply chain. It will take a collective effort to drive real, meaningful change for the future.”

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  1. When I was in the Shuswaps a couple of weeks ago we had to load all of our groceries into the car without bags because they stopped using them. It’s good to see the national stores are doing the same thing. It will make it easier if the Federal government ever starts cracking down on things.

  2. This will fix all our problems!

    Also, creates a perfect excuse to have the customer bag their own groceries! Ya know, not to reduce staffing costs, its about “saving the planet!”

    I find it incredibly short sighted, most people, re use these bags for other things around the home.
    Just know this as fact, five hundred plastic bags are brought into the store in a box measuring 18x12x8 inches through diesel truck.

    How many boxes would it take to haul five hundred reusable bags that only have one use?

    We also have to consider just how miniscule Canada is when it comes to waste plastic, if you do, youll quickly figure out how this is about “feel good” ideology while passing the labor onto the consumer.

    But “I am making a difference!”

    While driving a large vehicle,
    While living in a home over 1200 square feet.
    While taking vacations to warm climstes every year!

  3. I buy a lot of carry bags I like the ones that keep in the cold. That way I throw in a frozen water bottle and that way I can still go and do more errands on the way home. But there are things I do use the plastic grocery bags for and I hope we can still get them.

  4. I don’t know if using paper is a win-win type of situation either bc then we’re using more trees which isn’t good for the environment either. I think the reusable bags are the best idea. We use the plastic bags to dispose of cat litter so not sure what method we would have to switch to but there must be something more eco-friendly.

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