Sobeys plans to divert 720,000 plastic bags from landfill to make waterfront benches and picnic tables for public spaces along shores in Atlantic Canada.
The public furniture will be made from recycled plastic bags as well heavier recycled plastic materials such as bins and will be installed in family-oriented community spaces across Atlantic Canada.
The first piece, the specially designed Ultimate Picnic Table, was unveiled earlier this week on the Halifax Waterfront. The large table and bench system seats 20 people, including accessible seating. Each is built from 60,000 recycled plastic bags.
Sobeys is working with Dartmouth-based LakeCity Plastics to create the pieces and has partnered with Develop Nova Scotia and other Atlantic government partners to select accessible, family-focused public spaces on waterfronts across the region.
The donation follows on from the company's commitment to remove plastic grocery bags from all Sobeys grocery stores by the end of January 2020, which will remove 225 million plastic grocery bags from circulation at Sobeys' 255 locations across Canada each year.
The benches are designed and built by LakeCity Plastics, a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities to youth and adults living with mental illness. LakeCity is collaborating with Goodwood Plastic Products of Colchester County, sourcing Goodwood's plastic lumber which is made from used plastic bags and containers, to produce outdoor furniture.
Sobeys will announce the locations of the benches and picnic tables in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador next spring.