Yes we have no plastic bags — Sobeys
By the end of January 2020, which is coming faster than we realize (snow, ugh), you will not be able to get a plastic bag when you buy groceries at Sobeys.
You knew this was coming, didn’t you. Once they started making us pay for plastic bags, we knew the writing was on the wall.
I’m old enough to remember when plastic bags were introduced. A long time ago, before cellphones and internet. (Well, OK, the internet existed but I, personally, did not know much about it.) Anyway. Before that we used paper bags. And then people started realizing that maybe cutting down trees to bag groceries wasn’t the smartest use of precious natural resources we could think of.
Plastic bags entered the scene, facing a fair bit of resistance, at least, that’s what I remember from my old shopping days. The cashier would always ask: plastic or paper? You’d state your preference, and the person who was paid by the store to bag your groceries for you (I told you it was a long time ago) proceeded to dump your stuff in your bag of choice.
Now of course they ask you if you “need” a bag, using a tone of voice that suggests you better say no. Because now we’ve realized that plastic bags, too, are a pretty poor choice of material with which to transport groceries.
Now we use cloth bags, or bags made with recycled plastics, or we just carry individual grains of rice in our earbuds. I’m kidding. I think. The point is, we’re much more conscious of the resources we use. And that’s good. One day we’ll realize there’s something wrong with cloth bags, too, and will move on to something else. Progress is like that. Sort of endless.
In the meantime, removing plastic bags from its 255 Canadian locations will remove 225 million bags from circulation every year, just in Sobeys-owned stores. The company will also bring in mesh produce bags made from recycled plastic, trying them out in some Quebec stores first. Other companies are also moving in a similar direction.
Meanwhile in much poorer Pakistan, they’re expanding their ban on plastic bags, going so far as to fine people who refuse to comply. Mind you, they have a worse problem with single-use plastic than we do here in lovely but not especially populous Canada. Still, when legislators enact bans with teeth like that, you know they’re serious.
It’s slow, but it’s steady. One day we’ll get there.