Distribution of single-use grocery bags decreases by 70 per cent at Metro



    
     Only four weeks after implementing a $0.05 charge, company reports
                considerable reduction in use of plastic bags
    

    MONTREAL, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Four weeks after introducing a $0.05
charge for single-use grocery bags, Metro grocery stores across Quebec and
Ontario (Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Marché Richelieu) are reporting that
70 per cent fewer bags have been distributed in store, when compared to the
monthly average. Demand for reusable bags has increased by five times since
June 1, when the fee was implemented. Such positive results will help Metro
reach its goal of reducing the distribution of single-use grocery bags by 50
per cent by the end of 2010.
    RECYC QUEBEC and the Fondation québécoise en environnement, strongly
support this eco-friendly initiative because reduction at source is the best
way to decrease the number of single-use grocery bags used. However, this
solution requires the combined efforts of retailers and consumers.
Recyc-Québec estimates that between 1.4 and 2.7 billion bags are distributed
in Quebec each year.
    The Fondation québécoise en environnement is delighted with the early
results achieved in Metro supermarkets. "We have been promoting this
eco-friendly measure for two years now and encourage consumers to choose
reusable bags. We are certain that many other companies will follow Metro's
example," said Claude Hill, the Fondation's Vice-President of Finance, and
General Manager.
    "The early results are very encouraging as they confirm that consumers
are not only concerned about the environmental, but they are willing to change
their shopping habits for the well-being of the community. The 70 per cent
reduction in the number of single-use grocery bags distributed is also the
result of the combined work of Metro grocery stores that support this
initiative and recognize its importance. We are even more motivated to achieve
our goal of reducing the use of bags in store by 50 per cent over the next 18
months," stated Marie-Claude Bacon, Director of Corporate Affairs at Metro
Inc.

    ENVIRONMENTAL INVOLVEMENT

    Metro launched the Green Apple School Program to encourage elementary and
high school students in Quebec and Ontario to develop projects to promote a
healthier environment. Metro is allocating $2 million, $1 million in each
province. Participants can submit their projects as of September 1, 2009.
    The sale of bags for $0.05 and the creation of the Green Apple School
Program are the latest of many environmental initiatives undertaken by Metro,
including the 2006 launch of the first reusable shopping bags. Metro addressed
air pollution by setting speed limits for all its delivery vehicles in 2006
and developed "Leave it Greener," an employee communications program, to
promote the principles and values of environmentally responsible behaviour.
    In August, Metro will roll out a communications campaign featuring
in-store signage, advertisements in flyers and a website dedicated to the
Green Apple School Program.

    METRO INC.

    With annual sales of close to $11 billion and more than 65,000 employees,
Metro Inc. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Quebec and
Ontario, where it operates a network of almost 600 grocery stores under
several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, A&P, Super C and Food Basics as
well as 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Clini Plus, The Pharmacy and Drug
Basics banners. For more information, visit metro.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Marie-Claude Bacon, Director, Corporate
Affairs, Metro Inc., (514) 643-1086, mbacon@metro.ca; Claude Hill,
Vice-President, Finance, and General Manager, Fondation québécoise en
environnement, (514) 849-3323; Jean-François Couture, Vice-President,
Communications, Fondation québécoise en environnement, (514) 235-3168


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