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Industry NewsLoblaw to eliminate single-use plastic bags by 2023

Loblaw to eliminate single-use plastic bags by 2023

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Loblaw Companies Limited plans to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags from all of its banner stores, including pharmacies and PC Express grocery delivery services across the country. It expects to complete the elimination by the first quarter of 2023.

Loblaw says the move completes a 15-year journey, which commenced with the company being one of the first major retailers in Canada to implement a pay-for-bag program to help reduce plastic waste.

“As a purpose-led organization, committed to helping Canadians live life well, we are proud to be taking a significant step on such an important environmental issue,” says Robert Sawyer, chief operating officer, Loblaw. “Since 2007, our efforts to reduce the number of single-use plastic shopping bags leaving our stores has led to 13.8 billion fewer bags potentially going into landfill.”

Loblaw says customers have already rallied around the reusable bag approach. The adoption of a plastic bag fee led to a 70 per cent decline in the use of plastic bags in its stores, and shoppers have turned to the PC reusable bag and plastic bins as sustainable alternatives. As single-use plastic shopping bags are phased out systematically, province by province, customers will be supported with a variety of reusable alternatives as well as ongoing communications to raise awareness of the options available.

This is the latest in a line of announcements related to Loblaw’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts. Notably, to help fight climate change, Loblaw will achieve the following: 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; send zero food waste to landfill by 2030; and more.  The full scope of its ESG commitments can be found in its 2021 ESG Report

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