Canadian Retailer Magazine | Sustainability

It’s in the bag: Sobey’s Excellence in Retailing Award-winning Plastic Bag Reduction program

September 17, 2018
It’s in the bag: Sobey’s Excellence in Retailing Award-winning Plastic Bag Reduction program

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP

SINGLE use plastic bags are a significant sustainability challenge for retailers right across the country. As a national retailer with more than 1,500 retail locations from coast-to-coast-to-coast, Sobeys took it upon itself to launch a national Plastic Bag Reduction Strategy in Atlantic Canada, beginning in PEI in March 2018.

With the goal to reduce the use of single use plastic bags in its stores and by its customers, the company implemented solutions across its supply chain to: 1) encourage customers to use reusable bags, 2) create unique recycling opportunities for customers, and 3) reduce the amount of plastic in single use bags.

Through review, Sobeys identified that the bags it offered in Atlantic Canada contained a higher plastic count than the bags it offered in stores across the country. So the company partnered with its suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic used in its bags, without compromising the quality.

Sobeys also started to encourage changes in customer behaviour in an effort to get them to switch from using single use plastic bags to reusable shopping bags. To do this, it launched a marketing campaign which offered incentives in the way of free reusable bags and AIR MILES Bonus Miles.

The company also implemented recycling solutions for single use plastic bags in its stores where customers could recycle their plastic bags.

Sobeys’ overall corporate sustainability plan is to continuously evaluate all aspects of its network and identify areas where it can reduce its impact on the environment. It’s Atlantic Plastic Bag Reduction Strategy is certainly one way it’s doing that.

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