Loblaw Bagless Initiative Spreads to Quebec

BRAMPTON, Ont. -- A Maxi & Co store in Sherbrooke will become the first grocery and general merchandise retailer in Quebec to eliminate traditional plastic bags at checkout, making it the third Loblaw banner location to go bagless since the opening of the Loblaw Superstore in Milton, Ont. in August.

The second location is the Real Canadian Superstore in Langford, B.C., which also jettisoned plastic bags this month.

"As the largest grocery retailer in Quebec and Canada, we have a duty to help reduce the quantity of waste in our communities", said Loblaw Cos., Ltd. chairman Galen G. Weston in a statement. "Customers of Maxi & Co in Sherbrooke are responding well to the reusable bag and box proposal. In fact, the Sherbrooke area has the highest level of bag reuse within the Quebec network. This helped persuade us to operate this store free from traditional plastic bags distributed at the checkouts, and to work with our customers to make a positive step towards a greener environment."

The initiative will roll out at the Sherbrooke Maxi & Co in February 2008. In the meantime, a comprehensive communications plan will encourage customers to reuse bags and boxes. The grocer recently unveiled its PC Green reusable grocery bag and PC Green boxes, the latter of which were designed to be placed store grocery carts and can hold the equivalent of three to five traditional grocery bags.

In April Loblaw made a commitment to reduce 1 billion plastic grocery bags from Canada's landfills within one year. Canadians now use about 10 billion plastic bags annually, according to the retailer.

Loblaw is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of general merchandise, drug store, and financial products and services. The company is one of the largest private-sector employers in Canada, employing over 139,000 full-time and part-time workers. Provigo, with its Loblaws, Maxi & Co, Maxi, Provigo, L'intermarche, Axep, Presto, and Club Entrepot Provigo banners, is the largest food retailer in Quebec. The company and its franchised and affiliated merchants provide employment for nearly 30,000 people in the province.
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