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Ontario liquor stores phase out plastic bags

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has announced that it will phase out plastic shopping bags from its loca...


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June 2, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has announced that it will phase out plastic shopping bags from its locations, as part of its efforts to become greener.

The LCBO said that existing supplies of single-use plastic bags will run out in the summer, and stores will switch to “environmentally friendly” alternatives. The board noted that the measure would eliminate about 80 million plastic bags a year from landfill sites.

“Our customers want to help the environment,” said LCBO president and CEO Bob Peter. “We’re going to make it as easy as possible for them to make a positive difference by encouraging them to bring reusable bags when they shop at the LCBO. We are asking our customers to join with us to make bringing a reusable bag the first choice.”

According to the LCBO, customers who forget to bring their own bags can request LCBO paper bags or cardboard boxes, or purchase inexpensive reusable bags that hold four or six containers.

The board also announced that it will be offering a new reusable bag, suitable for larger items such as six-packs of beer, later this summer.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), on the other hand, called the move to phase out plastic bags a “bad environmental decision.”

“The decision to drop plastic shopping bags but keep paper bags at LCBO outlets is a political decision, not a decision based on science,” said CPIA president and CEO Serge Lavoie. “It is the wrong decision, and we’re tremendously disappointed.”

Lavoie argued that LCBO had seen significant benefits by demonstrating product stewardship of plastic bags, as part of a voluntary agreement between retailers and the provincial government to reduce plastic bags by 50 per cent in five years.

According to Lavoie, plastic bag consumption dropped by 30 per cent at the LCBO in the last six months. He also said that the LCBO had lightweighted its bag by 20 per cent, and added more recycled content.

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