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
    

    TORONTO, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Four weeks after introducing a $0.05
charge for single-use grocery bags, Metro grocery stores across Quebec and
Ontario 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.
    Environmental groups, such as the Recycling Council of Ontario, strongly
support this initiative because reduction at source is the best way to
decrease the number of plastic and paper bags used. However, this solution
requires the combined efforts of retailers and consumers. The Recycling
Council of Ontario estimates that 4.2 billion bags are distributed in Ontario
every year.
    "By encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags, Metro and its shoppers
are making a significant environmental commitment and are demonstrating that
it is the simple every day changes that can make all the difference," says
Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director, Recycling Council of Ontario.
    "The early results are very encouraging as they confirm that consumers
are not only concerned about the environment, they are willing to change their
shopping habits for the well-being of the community," stated Selena Fiacco,
director, communications, Metro Ontario Inc. "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."

    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 to the program ($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 bag. 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: Selena Fiacco, Director, Communications, Metro
Ontario Inc., (416) 234-6081, selena.fiacco@metro.ca


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