Loblaws ditches single-use plastic shopping bags across Saskatchewan, Canada

CANADA – Canadian supermarket chain, Loblaws has announced the discontinuation of single-use plastic shopping bags at stores across the Northwest Territories, including Glen’s Independent Grocer and Rochdi’s Independent Grocer from November 1st, 2022.

The announcement is the next step in the company’s efforts to reduce single-use plastic and its overall environmental footprint.

“We are a purpose-led organization, with a goal to help Canadians live life well.  Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint is an important part of that,” said Robert Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer, Loblaws Companies Limited.

“Our efforts to remove single-use plastic bags from our stores have already resulted in 13 billion fewer bags going to landfill.

“But we know there’s more work to be done.  Today’s announcement represents our continued commitment to protecting our environment across the region and beyond.”

Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags to the stores, but there will also be a variety of reusable alternatives available at checkout lanes, including the iconic black PC reusable bag or PC reusable totes.

This is the latest in a long line of announcements related to Loblaw’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.

Notably, Loblaw has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 for Scope 1 and 2, and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for Scope 3; reduce plastic waste by making all of its control brand and in-store packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025; and send zero food waste to landfill by 2030.

The move comes a few months after the Canadian government announced plans to ban the manufacture and import of single-use plastics by the end of the year, in a major effort to combat plastic waste and address climate change.

The ban will cover items like checkout bags, cutlery, straws, and food-service ware made from or containing plastics that are hard to recycle, with a few exceptions for medical reasons.

It will come into effect in December 2022, and the sale of those items will be prohibited as of December 2023 to provide businesses in Canada enough time to transition and to deplete existing stocks, the government said.

Single-use plastics make up most of the plastic waste found on Canadian shorelines. Up to 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used each year and approximately 16 million straws are used every day, according to government data.

Canada will also prohibit the export of those plastics by the end of 2025 to address international plastic pollution.

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