Eco-Teacher Calling Sobeys Plastic Bag Ban a Big Step Forward

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A local teacher is applauding a move by Sobeys to eliminate plastic shopping bags.

Jodi Nolin is the eco-teacher at Anderdon Public School in Amherstburg.

She and the students in her Grade 6 class have been pushing local businesses, municipalites and organizations to stop using plastic straws and single-use plastic bags.

Nolin says Sobeys decision is a giant step in the right direction.

"To see such a big grocery chain create these changes provincially is really exciting because I'm sure that other grocery chains will follow suit and big shopping centres will do the same," says Nolin.  "So it's wonderful. It's going to make positive changes happen very quickly."

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Anderdon Public School students Darragh Aston (left) and Addisyn Walker (right) with their teacher Jodi Nolin (centre) at a Greater Essex County District School Board meeting held on May 21, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Nolin says it's all about making people change their habits.

"Hopefully people will just get in that habit of bringing their bags," says Nolin.  "What did we do before plastic? It wasn't that long ago we didn't have plastic and people brought their own bags or we used boxes or paper bags. So we're so used to this convenience, but at a great cost to the health of the planet and our own health."

Last week, Sobeys announced it would phase out plastic bags from all of its stores by February 2020.

The chain, owned by Empire Co., will roll out the initiative at its other banners as well, including Safeway and Foodland, soon after.

— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon