The Canadian Press A man carries groceries in a plastic bag in Canada. Shoppers at Sobeys Inc. grocery stores will soon need to bring their own totes or lug their purchases home in paper bags as the chain moves to phase out plastic bags by February 2020. Canadians go through hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags at grocery stores each year, and the chains — most of which charge a nominal fee for plastic bags —are facing pressure from increasingly eco-conscious consumers to do more to eliminate their plastic-centric packaging. Sobeys said it is making the move to phase out plastic bags as a response to calls from customers and employees to use less plastic. The retailer also committed to launch programs to reduce plastic in other areas of the stores. “We really felt that the amount of avoidable plastic in grocery stores is shocking,” said Vittoria Varalli, the company’s vice-president of sustainability. The change will eliminate 225 million bags used annually at Sobeys 255 stores. The company, which is owned by Stellarton, N.S.-based Empire Co. Ltd, will phase out plastic bags and introduce paper bags at its other banners soon after. Sobeys also operates Safeway, Thrifty Foods, […]

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