End of an era for Sobeys as plastic bags retired from checkouts across Canada
HALIFAX -- It's the end of an era for single-use plastic bags at Sobeys stores.
Plastic bags were removed at midnight Thursday from stores across the country and reusable and paper bags are what you'll find at check out as of Friday.
Many customers came prepared, while others forgot about the transition and were purchasing one of the many reusable options available.
"I'm not really liking the paper bags because they don't have no handles on them, but other than that they're pretty good," said one shopper.
The grocery giant announced it would be eliminating plastic bags six months ago after hearing from customers who wanted to see change in their stores.
"It's a bit strange, to be honest, not to see the plastic bags, but it's also exciting at the same time, to see the reusable bags and the customer reaction to that," said Dave Sobey, the grocer's director of support services.
The move to reusable options means 225 million bags will be cut from circulation every year. That's nearly enough bags to wrap around the world twice.
"I think it's fantastic, so congratulations and good for you Sobeys for doing it," said Halifax Regional Coun. Tony Mancini.
Mancini is passionate about the ban against plastics and says this is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
"It's a small dent," Mancini said. "I would like to see Sobeys do other things. Look at the U.K. A lot of the grocery chains in the U.K. are banning all single use bags, how often do you go get your grapes and your berries and it comes in that plastic clam shell, so in the U.K., they're banning those also."
And when it comes to transitioning from plastics to reusables over night, the clean foundation says take advantage of your surroundings.
"If you already have reusables at home, take those out and bring those with you, pack that into your purse, pack that into your book bag so that when you are out and about, you can start using those versus relying on the single use plastic bags," said Marquita Davis of the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation.
And by this fall, single use plastic bags will be banned across Nova Scotia when new legislation comes into effect.