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Sylvan Lake Sobeys among more than 200 to eliminate plastic bags

According to Sobeys Inc. the move will remove more than 200 million plastic bags from stores
Brad and Andrea Bromley, owners of the Sylvan Lake Sobeys, pose for a photo in the store. File Photo

Sylvan Lake Sobeys is one of 255 locations to eliminate plastic grocery bags from the stores.

The move is from Sobeys Inc. who plans to remove the single use plastic from all Canadian stores by the end of January, 2020.

The Canadian grocery store says this is the first step to eliminating unnecessary, single-use plastics from grocers.

The change is expected to keep 225 million grocery bags out of circulation, and out of landfills and waterways.

“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.

The company plans to phase out the use of plastics bags in its stores over the course of the next six months.

According to a press release, issued on July 31, the company will “launch innovative and unique programs to reduce plastics” while encouraging customers to use reusable bags.

The produce section of Sobeys stores will see the first change in August.

Reusable mesh bags, created from recycled water bottles, will replace plastic produce bags for fresh produce.

Reusable mesh bags for produce was first introduced at IGA stores in Quebec with “highly positive feedback from customers.”

“This is a first step, and we plan to make meaningful progress every year to take plastic out of our stores and our products,” said Medline.

While customers will be encouraged to bring reusable bags when doing their shopping, paper bags will be available in place of plastic.

Further to the 255 Sobeys locations, the company also plans to remove plastic bags from other stores owned by the company, such as Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland and IGA.

“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,” said Medline.