Montreal – In response to Sobeys’ announcement to remove all plastic bags at the cash in its 255 Canadian locations by the end of January 2020 and in its Montreal IGA stores as early as September 2019, Sarah King, Greenpeace Canada’s Head of Oceans & Plastics Campaign said:

“While it is encouraging to see a major Canadian supermarket chain like Sobeys (owner of IGA) move to ban plastic bags from its stores, this is a long overdue first step which must be followed by more actions to get rid of more single-use plastic packaging. Given the state of the plastic waste and pollution crisis, we need retailers of this scale committing to strong measures to reduce single-use plastics across their business. Other chains must also follow their lead if we are to tackle plastic pollution for good.”

Plastic bags are among the most common types of waste found in the environment, but packaging also contributes significantly to plastic pollution. According to research commissioned by the federal government, in 2016, 86% of Canadian plastic waste was sent to landfills and 47% of that waste was made up of disposable plastic packaging. Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled in Canada.

As distribution platforms and major contributors of disposable packaging, supermarkets are key players in the fight against plastic pollution. In January of this year, Greenpeace launched a petition calling for the end of overpackaging that has collected nearly 200,000 signatures.

“It seems that pressure from consumers, citizens and environmental groups is starting to bear fruit. Today, we want Sobeys to commit to the quick implementation of proposed measures such as offering reusable mesh bags for produce, allowing customers to bring their own containers, and expanding their bulk section across all the company’s banners.”

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For more information please contact:

Laura Darche, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada,
ldarche@greenpeace.org; +1 (438) 407-0367