Posted by Sudbury Northern Life Reporter Dave Eckert
The owner of a local grocery store affiliated with Loblaws Canada said his store's parent company's decision to charge five cents for plastic grocery bags starting April 22 will help the environment.
Loblaws will instead put emphasis on selling green boxes, which carry about the same as three to five plastic bags, as well as cloth bags, trolleys and folding baskets.
In Sudbury, Your Independent Grocer stores, as well as the Real Canadian Superstore, are affiliated with the Loblaws chain.
Other grocery stores not affliated with the chain, such as Food Basics, have been charging for plastic bags for years.
Brent Battistelli, owner of Battistelli's Your Independent Grocer in Lively, said customers seem to be taking to the green bins and reusable grocery bags.
Loblaws' goal is to reduce its plastic bag use by one billion bags this year.
Consumers across Canada were surveyed about the impact of a five cent charge on bags, according to a release put out by Loblaws.
Leger Marketing reported in March that 81 per cent of Canadians surveyed support the plan to reduce plastic bag use by one billion bags nationwide via the bag charge.
Sudbury shoppers said they didn't mind having to pay for plastic bags.
"The process (of charging for plastic bags) is buried in the price of the stuff you buy, so technically they are charging five cents more per bag," said Laurentian student Andrew Franklin.
"This time they are giving you the choice to pay for the bags so you can feel proactive."
Christy Lapierre, who studies biomedicine at Laurentian, said other kinds of stores should also charge for plastic bags.
"I haven't really seen reusable bags at clothing stores, or other such stores in malls," Lapierre said. "That would be a good idea, since you would be able to fit a whole lot of clothes in those fabric reusable bags."
Lapierre's only concern was forgetting the bags at home.
Loblaws, through its PC Green website (green.pc.ca), suggests that an easy way to remember your reusable bags is to hang them in a place that is easy to remember, such as on a coat hook by the front door.
The United States Environmental Pollution Agency reports that 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are dispensed every year worldwide. Numerous countries around the world have passed laws banning the use of plastic shopping bags.