Sobeys leading return to paper grocery bags

Chain will start phasing out plastic bags next year

What’s old is new again.

Sobeys is phasing out plastic bags at the checkout in favour of paper bags (or bring your own).

The switch back (paper bags were the norm prior to the 1980s) will begin early next year.

The change is in response to customer and employee requests to use less plastic. It will also extend to the produce aisle where plastic bags for fruits and vegetables will be replaced by reusable mesh bags.

Sobeys expects the change will eliminate 225 million bags annually at its 225 stores. The company will also, eventually, phase out plastic bags at its Safeway, Thrifty Foods, IGA, Foodland, Freshco and Farm Boy across the country.

Canadians go through hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags at grocery stores each year.