Jan. 31 was a day of change for Sobeys grocery stores across the country, officially removing single-use plastic bags from checkouts.
"12:01 p.m. we became bag-less for our front end," said Loretta Friesan, store manager at the Sobeys - Varsity Common location.
In lieu of plastic bags, Sobeys now offers paper bags for 10 cents, reusable bags, totes for larger items and boxes.
"All of our cashiers are very familiar with all of the options that we have," Friesan said. "They’ll explain you through the process; they’ll help you out at the cash register when you’re coming through."
So far customers seem to be adapting to the change, with 650 reusable bags sold since Friday. Friesan said the store usually sells around 1,000 reusable bags in a month.
“It’s high time we take responsibility and get rid of these nuisances," long-time Sobeys shopper Alan Long said.
"I think it’s a great initiative," Catherine Klopoushak, another shopper said. "I’m really glad it’s come to Sobeys and I hope it goes to the rest of Saskatoon."
Friesan has been store manager for a year, and has been with the company for 18 years.
"I am very proud to work for them. I think this is a step in the right direction, so single-use plastic bags first and we’ll see where we go from there."
She said the biggest thing she has noticed since the change is the amount of people walking into the store only to immediately turn around and retrieve their re-usable bags they forgot in the car.
There have been a handful of complaints since the switch according to Friesan, but it’s nothing compared to the positive feedback she’s been hearing.
"Customer reception has been fantastic. Customers are excited; they’ve been waiting for this change."
The Government of Canada will be implementing a ban on single use plastic products in 2021.