Sobeys is completely eliminating plastic bags this week

This makes Sobeys the first national grocer to remove plastic bags across the country

Starting on January 31st, Sobeys will completely eliminate the use of plastic bags.

The change, which will remove 225 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation every year, means that Sobeys is the first national grocer to remove plastic bags at every store across the country. After removing plastic bags at all 255 Sobeys location, the company will be following by phasing out plastic grocery bags at all of its various brands including FreshCo, Foodland, Safeway, and more.

“So many of our customers and our employees have told us loud and clear – they want us to use less plastic – and we agree with them,” president and CEO of Empire Michael Medline explains in a statement. “This is a first step, and we plan to make meaningful progress every year to take plastic out of our stores and our products. We decided to act now instead of taking years to study and only make long-term commitments. We’re taking action now, making a tangible difference today and into the future. This is a significant first step, but it’s only a first step. We need to go further, and we will.”

The retailer will also be launching programs that reduce plastic in other facets of the store and encourage customers to choose reusable bags.