Canadian Grocer to Offer 'Truly Biodegradable' Bag

OTTAWA, Canada -- Savory's Fine Foods, which will open a new Fresh Food Centre measuring about 15,000 square feet at Bayshore Shopping Centre here on June 15, will become the first grocer in the Canadian capital city to provide consumers with what it calls a 'truly biodegradable' grocery bag -- one that employs 'oxo-degradable' technology from Vancouver, B.C.-based EPI Environmental Products, Inc.

"This isn't a recycling program," noted Savory's co-founder Paul Traversy in a statement. "What we are introducing to shoppers in the capital region is a 100 percent degradable plastic shopping bag that provides all of the convenience, strength, and food protection provided by traditional plastic grocery bags, with the added benefit of the full potential of biodegradability.

"While the 'oxo degradable' bags are slightly more expensive than their untreated counterparts, it was felt that Savory's should demonstrate corporate leadership in helping to mitigate the impact of plastics in our local landfill sites," added Traversy.

The technology involves only the addition of catalyst materials to traditional polyolefins, allowing them to be processed into finished products using the same equipment and nearly identical processing conditions as traditional plastics. This means that manufacturers can use the technology without significant processing cost increases.

"If the city wishes to meet their target of reducing, reusing, and recycling household waste by an additional 7 percent in the capital by 2007 then the adoption and promotion of new and innovative technologies like those utilized in the Savory's bag will go a long way to assisting us getting there," said Alex Cullen, councillor for Ottawa's Bay Ward. "Savory's is demonstrating real leadership in our community and should be congratulated for it."

As well as rolling out the oxo-degradable plastic carrier bags, Savory's will also offer customers the opportunity to buy re-useable cotton-based, mesh shopping bags.

The store will carry fresh produce and traditional groceries, as well as specialty items such as gourmet takeout meals, handmade chocolates, fresh-baked breads, international cheeses, and organic meats.

A&P Canada this month introduced a hand-held, machine-washable reusable shopping bag at its banners across Ontario.
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