Sobeys to end use of plastic bags by end of January 2020

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STELLARTON – Picking up groceries will change for many local consumers by the end of January 2020.

Sobeys announced on their website on Wednesday plans to remove all plastic bags from their 255 locations across Canada by that time.

Canada’s second largest food retailer says the move represents an important first step in the journey towards eliminating unnecessary plastic from grocery stores. Starting with eliminating plastic grocery bags from Sobeys stores in 2020, the company will follow with phasing out plastic grocery bags and introducing paper bags in all other banners including Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland and others.  

“This is a first step, and we plan to make meaningful progress every year to take plastic out of our stores and our products,” stated Michael Medline, president and CEO of the chain’s parent, Empire Company Limited. “This is a significant first step but it’s only a first step. We need to go further, and we will.”

They say the move will take away 225 million plastic grocery bags from circulation every year.

Both Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have plans to move forward with a province-wide ban on plastic bags.

Sobeys plans to adopt other methods to phase out plastic in stores. The grocer plans to bring in mesh produce bags made from recycled water bottles. The bags were first launched at IGAs in Quebec in June.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June announced plans to ban by early 2021 some single-use plastics such as straws, bags and cutlery.