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Sobeys, Wegmans Continue Reducing Plastic Bags

plastic bag2Sobeys’ stores in Ontario have exceeded the province’s targeted guidelines for reducing plastic bags.

Sobeys, which operates in Ontario under the Sobeys, Foodland and IGA banners, has reduced plastic bag use by 72 percent, compared to the province’s goal of a 50 percent cut, reports Supermarket News.

Six months ago Sobeys quit giving out free plastic bags and instituted a five-cent per bag charge.

Another supermarket chain is using a carrot rather than a stick to encourage lower use of plastic bags.

Wegmans, a Rochester, N.Y.-based chain, is offering $1-off coupons for certain items to shoppers who check out with reusable bags, reports Supermarket News.

The program, which offers discounts on frozen meals, fresh meats and greeting cards, runs through November.

Mary Ellen Burris, Wegmans’ senior vice president of consumer affairs, said the coupon was a response to consumer requests to receive an incentive for choosing reusable bags. Some stores offered the consumers a discount of a penny or nickel per bag, she noted.

Recognizing that retailers are trying to reduce plastic bag use to improve their image, a plastic bag group is working to make its products more environmentally friendly.

The Full Circle Recycling Initiative aims for 40 percent recycled content in all plastic bags by 2015, including at least 25 percent postconsumer recycled plastic

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