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Sobeys will no longer offer plastic bags at checkout (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

If you’re planning on shopping for groceries at Sobeys, you will have to remember to bring your reusable bag with you.

As of Friday, Sobeys removed all of its plastic grocery bags at all of its 255 locations across Canada, including in North Bay.

“I like it. I don’t really use those bags anyways,” customer Faith Critchlow says. “I usually bring my reusable bags.”

Another customer agrees, hoping it will have a noticeable impact on the environment.

“We don’t want all that stuff in our oceans or our rivers. I think it’s great,” says customer Claudette Cooper.

This makes the grocery retailer the first national Canadian grocery chain to ban single-use plastic bags. Executives expect it will eliminate 225 million plastic grocery bags out of the landfill each year.

“It’s a positive step forward and I think we will be leading the industry in this and our customers have been asking for it for a long time,” says Sobeys North Bay Store Manager Paul Belanger. “Sobeys, for a number of years, has been working towards a less carbon footprint and this is the big move now at store level.”

So what can shoppers do if they forget to bring a reusable bag with them? Well, Sobeys is selling large reusable grocery bags for 99 cents, smaller reusable bags for 25 cents, and paper bags are available for 10 cents. A portion of paper bag sales is being put towards planting trees in the country.

“I think it’s a good thing. I just forgot my reusable bags today. I should have listened to my husband when he reminded me,” customer Lianne Hyndman says.

According to the federal government, 15 billion plastic bags are used in Canada every year.

“It’s a wonderful idea. It’s about time,” says customer Karen Hill. “We need to take better care and we need to be more conscientious.”

When asked if they want to see other grocery stores follow Sobeys’ example, many shoppers said they want to see other big corporations jump on the green bandwagon as well.