Sobeys to remove plastic bags from all stores next year as grocers go green

SOBEYS

Shoppers at Sobeys grocery stores will soon need to bring their own totes or lug their purchases home in paper bags as the chain moves to phase out plastic bags by February 2020.

The grocer's owner Empire Co. will roll out the initiative at its other banners, including Safeway and Foodland, soon after.

Sobeys says it is making the move to phase out plastic bags as a response to calls from customers and employees to use less plastic.

The retailer is also committing to launch programs to reduce plastic in other areas of the stores.

Canadians go through hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags at grocery stores each year, but chains are facing pressure to change their plastic-centric packaging from increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

Restaurants have responded to pressure to eliminate straws after a video showing someone removing a straw stuck up a turtle's nose went viral.