Loblaw Superstore First Major North American Grocer to Go Bagless

BRAMPTON, Ont. -- The Loblaw Superstore in Milton, Ont. that opened yesterday is the first major grocery and general merchandise retail store in North America to completely get rid of traditional plastic grocery bags at the checkouts, according to the supermarket operator.

"As Canada's largest grocery retailer, we have a responsibility to help reduce waste in our communities," said Loblaw Cos., Ltd. executive chairman Galen G. Weston in a statement. "Opening this store with bagless checkouts is another concrete step in the right direction."

With the recent launch of PC Green, billed by the company as "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag," shoppers at the 117,000-square-foot pilot location in Milton will be encouraged to shop with reusable bags or use the PC Green Box, which fits in a store shopping cart and can hold up to the equivalent of three to five grocery bags.

To prepare the surrounding community for the store's new policy, each household in Milton was mailed a complimentary PC Green Bag and a coupon for a free PC Green Box with a minimum purchase of $225. Until Oct. 6, shoppers will be offered a buy-one-get-one-free for the PC Green Bag and $1 off PC Green Box. Customers are allowed to bring in any reusable bag, even those from other retailers.

The pilot store additionally boasts such features as an improved layout, with clearer sightlines; less clutter, including in the checkout area, which will be devoid of the usual magazines, candy, and other items found there; and the addition of "Power Aisles" to clearly merchandise value and promotional products.

In April Loblaws pledged to reduce 1 billion plastic grocery bags from Canada's landfills within one year. Ontario residents now use almost 80 plastic bags per second, or nearly 7 million plastic bags a day, according to the retailer.

Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of general merchandise, drug store, and financial products and services, Loblaw employs over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees.
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