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Alberta to cut plastic bag use by half by 2013

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The Alberta government and four of Canada's major retail associations have reached an agreement that they sa...

The Alberta government and four of Canada’s major retail associations have reached an agreement that they say will cut plastic bag use in half by 2013.

The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores signed a Memorandum of Agreement on June 2 that will see industry take action to reduce plastic bag use in the province. These four major retail associates make up 90 per cent of all retail sales in Alberta.

According to a statement by Provincial Environment Mininster Rob Renner, the agreement is an important step in reducing the number of bags littering streets and clogging landfills.


Retailers say the strategy to cut the roughly 900 million plastic bags used every year will be implemented at industry’s cost. That reduction is based on figures from 2008, when Alberta retailers handed out 900 million bags to consumers.

The strategy also includes education to promote reusable shopping bags. Within the retail sector, staff will be trained to put stickers or tape on large items instead of putting them in bags, offer consumers the choice of bringing their own bags, packing more purchases into bags or not using a bag at all.


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