Sobeys Is Removing Plastic Bags From Its Grocery Stores This Week

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When it comes to plastic waste, retailers play a major role in production. And while we’ve seen some brands take steps towards sustainability, one grocery retailer has made a major leap.

Sobeys recently announced that it will be removing plastic bags from stores by January 31, 2020.

In a press release, the chain announced that it will no longer offer Sobeys plastic bags at checkout in stores across Canada. With this major step towards plastic reduction, the grocery chain will be taking 225 million plastic bags out of circulation.

And this is just one of the initiatives that Sobeys has launched that work to the chain’s commitment to reducing plastic.

Sobeys aims to reduce plastics across all of its banners.

Some other initiatives that have already launched include introducing plastic checkout bags that are made with 30% less plastic; launching a reusable container pilot in IGA stores in Quebec; partnering with the likes of TREX Recycling Program and LakeCity Plastics to turn plastic waste into decking, furniture, and more; and eliminating plastic mini-cucumber trays.

sobey-bags
Instagram/davidslaunwhite

Not to mention, Sobeys is also encouraging and incentivizing its shoppers to reduce the amount of plastic they use.

In the press release, Sobeys shared some of the other examples that show the steps they’re taking to help its shoppers reduce plastic, which include:

  • A new line of reusable, mesh produce bags made from recycled water bottles available to provide another reusable bag solution, and cut down single-use plastic waste.
  • In-store plastic bag recycling programs in Atlantic Canada and Western Canada.
  • IGA stores on Montreal Island launched innovative ways to incentivize reusable bag adoption with initiatives such as:
    • Designated parking spots for customers who bring reusable bags
    • A program allowing customers to “rent” reusable bags from IGA stores for a returnable deposit
    • Promotional IGA offers on reusable bags and boxes to encourage customer use
  • Partnering with Enactus Canada on a Social Enterprise Accelerator. The program seeks to challenge young Canadians to find innovative alternatives to plastic use, work towards more sustainable operations, and drive behavioural change.

Removing Sobeys plastic bags from checkout is a major move for the grocery chain, and we hope to see other retailers follow suit.

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