Loblaw Plans to Eliminate at Least One-billion Plastic Bags from Canada's Landfills This Year



    President's Choice(R) Launches "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag" and Goes
    GREENer with Expanded Line of Household Products

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - Today President's Choice launches an expanded
PC(R) GREEN(R) product range, including the introduction of the PC(R) GREEN
(R) Reusable Shopping Bag - "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)." Made from
85-per-cent post-consumer recycled materials, it is the greenest reusable
shopping bag available in Canada. The sale of the PC(R) GREEN(R) Reusable Bag
is expected to divert at least one-billion single-use plastic bags from
landfill in 2007 alone(*).
    This announcement coincides with new President's Choice(R)/Ipsos Reid
research(xx) also released today, which suggests the majority of Canadians
feel personally responsible for preserving and protecting the environment, but
40 per cent aren't making the grade when it comes to their own personal
performance.
    "Although most Canadians are trying to lead "greener" lives, the reality
is that we still have a long way to go in terms of maintaining an overall
sustainable lifestyle," says Colin Isaacs, Canadian environmental scientist
and key independent advisor to PC(R) GREEN(R). "The fact is we could be doing
so much more. For Canada to consider itself a leader, we all need to do our
part."
    "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" is made from six 500-mL or two 2-L
plastic beverage bottles and is fully recyclable, including all tags,
threading and handles. Upon the end of its useful life (approximately 50
shopping trips or one year of shopping), consumers are encouraged to return
bags to the store for re-recycling - into more reusable bags. Weekly use of
one PC(R) GREEN(R) Reusable Shopping Bag is expected to divert 100 plastic
shopping bags from Canada's landfills in one year.
    "What makes 'Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)' so friendly to the
environment is its closed-loop recyclability," says Claudio Gemmiti, vice
president, Control Label, President's Choice(R). "This reusable bag makes use
of a valuable resource, namely plastic bottles from municipal collection
programs, it diverts plastic bags away from landfill and it is fully
recyclable - it truly alters the definition of waste."
    "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" is twice the size of conventional
plastic bags, holding up to 10 kg. It retails for $0.99, and for each bag or
PC GREEN(R) Box consumers use at store, they receive 50 PC(R) Points when
paying for their groceries with their PC(R) Financial MasterCard or bank card.
This points offer extends to all reusable bags and bins, including
competitors' reusable bags.
    "We want to change people's behaviour," says Gemmiti. "The bottom line is
that reusing bags and reducing waste is the right thing to do, no matter where
the reusable bag originates from."

    RESEARCH FINDINGS: HOW GREEN ARE WE?
    ------------------------------------
    The launch of an expanded PC(R) GREEN(R) line is in response to increased
consumer demand for environmentally improved products and the recognition that
"Something Must Be Done(TM)." The President's Choice(R)/Ipsos Reid GREEN
survey reveals that the majority of Canadians agree; however, there continues
to exist a significant component of society considered "environmentally
hostile." Highlights include:

    
    -   Environmentally Responsible: Nine out of 10 Canadians feel personally
        accountable for preserving or protecting the environment; the
        remaining one in 10 do not.
    -   Making the Grade: Almost half of Canadians give themselves a "B" for
        environmental performance, one third a "C" and one in 20 a failing
        grade; only one in 10 earns top marks.
    -   Environmental Hostiles: The majority of Canadians are willing to make
        small changes to make a real difference, such as using green
        products, washing clothes in cold water, recycling, and reducing
        electricity consumption. Yet, there continue to be hold-outs - almost
        one in 10 aren't likely to use reusable bags, one in 20 won't
        purchase products that are better for the environment or wash clothes
        in cold water and more than half refuse to take public transit.
    

    IT'S EASY BEING GREEN!
    ----------------------
    The expansion of President's Choice(R) GREEN(R), Canada's only
private-label range of sustainable products, first launched 20 years ago,
features 26 environmentally improved items, ranging from lawn and garden care
to household cleaners to paper products. In addition to "Canada's Greenest
Shopping Bag(R)," products include fire logs made of used coffee grounds, bath
tissue and paper towels made of 100-per-cent recycled paper and lawn compost
comprised fully of recycled leaves.
    "Since PC(R) GREEN(R) first launched in the late 80s, we've worked very
hard to provide effective products that are not only better for the
environment, but also better for consumer pocket books," says Gemmiti. "The 
PC(R) GREEN(R) line of products is price comparable to conventional products
with no performance compromise - there really is no reason not to go green."
    The President's Choice(R)/Ipsos Reid research suggests consumers are
looking for ways to make a difference. In classic President's Choice(R)
fashion, the PC(R) GREEN(R) line offers consumers simple and easy solutions.
One of the features of the line includes three easy-to-spot symbols that
inform consumers of the products' environmental benefits:

    
    -   "Earth" denotes recycled products that divert used goods from
        landfills;
    -   "Water" identifies products that use less environmentally harmful
        chemicals;
    -   "Energy" denotes energy-conscious products that help reduce reliance
        on non-renewable energy sources.
    

    "The PC(R) GREEN(R) line is in a renaissance stage," says Gemmiti. "We
have many new products in the pipeline and even more in the conceptual stage.
The development of environmentally conscious products has been a focus for
Loblaw and will continue to be moving forward."
    Loblaw is committed to developing effective products that help ease the
burden on our planet and preserve our natural resources. The President's
Choice(R) GREEN(R) line and "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" are available
nationally wherever President's Choice(R) products are sold.
    "PC(R) GREEN(R) is a leader in the development of environmentally
sustainable products that offer consumers both budget-friendly and
earth-friendly solutions," says Isaacs. "There's no better time than now for
consumers to make the switch."

    ABOUT LOBLAW COMPANIES LIMITED
    ------------------------------
    Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor and a
leading provider of general merchandise, drugstore and financial products and
services. Through its various operating banners, Loblaw is committed to
providing Canadians with a one-stop destination in meeting their food and
everyday household needs. This goal is pursued through a portfolio of store
formats across the country. It also offers one of Canada's strongest control
label programs, including the unique President's Choice(R) and no name(R)
brands. Loblaw is one of the largest private-sector employers in Canada,
employing over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees.

    
    -- FACT SHEET: President's Choice(R) has Canada's Greenest Shopping in
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    the bag! --
    -----------
    

    Loblaw is committed to reducing the number of plastic bags that end up as
waste in our landfill sites, and President's Choice(R) is putting its green
where its shopping bag is. Beginning April 14, President's Choice(R) GREEN(R)
brings "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" to Canadians as it extends its
environmentally improved range of 26 products.
    President's Choice(R) conducted extensive research and development to
create a bag with greater environmental benefits than any other bag in Canada.
The result is a recyclable shopping bag with maximum "green" benefits at
minimal cost to Canadians. It is available exclusively at Loblaws, Real
Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, Fortinos, Zehrs, Valu-Mart,
Provigo, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, Atlantic Superstore and Extra Food locations across
Canada.

    
    FAST FACTS:

    -   "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" is a solution unlike any other in
        Canada - it is the greenest reusable shopping bag available in
        Canada!
    -   It is made from 100% PET (polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin
        and a form of polyester), with 85 per cent composed of post-consumer
        recyclables - each bag is made from 6 x 500ml water bottles or 2 x 2L
        pop bottles. For strength and integrity, 15 per cent of the material
        is virgin PET
    -   Weekly use of one reusable bag diverts about 100 plastic bags from
        landfill each year
    -   The bag will withstand about 50 trips to the store - about one full
        year of shopping
    -   The bag is washable and can hold approximately 10 kg
    -   The bag complements the PC(R) GREEN(R) BIN (both promote diversion of
        waste)
    -   It is fully recyclable - consumers can bring it back to the store at
        end of its useful life and Loblaw will recycle it
    -   Customers who use their PC(R) Financial MasterCard or bank card will
        automatically receive 50 PC(R) Points for every bag used every time
        they come to the cash
    -   Retail Price: $0.99

    Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R) is ready to go bag-to-bag with
competitors to test the "greenness" of its material. See how it stacks up:

    -   PC(R) Green(R) "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" - Made from 85-
        per-cent post-consumer recycled material - Uses plastic bottles that
        would otherwise end up in landfill (waste diversion is viewed as the
        most environmentally friendly solution); the bag is fully recyclable
        - at the end of its life it will be turned back into more shopping
        bags or other similar products; durable (withstands approximately
        50 shopping trips); carries 10 kgs, equal to two conventional plastic
        bags; washable.
    -   Single-Use Shopping Bag - Recyclable single-use polyethylene or
        polypropylene - Many single-use bags not reused and when not reused,
        there is no environmental benefit to this material; this material can
        only withstand three round trips; oil and gas, non-renewable
        resources, are required for the manufacture of this material.
    -   Single-Use Shopping Bag from Recycled Material - Recyclable single-
        use polyethylene or polypropylene from recycled material - Recycling
        of this material does reduce the environmental impact; however, the
        amount of energy required to recycle is significant and recycling
        plastics requires extensive pre-processing to melt and remanufacture
        - this significantly negates the environmental benefits over
        production from virgin material.
    -   Reusable Cotton and Similar Fibres - This material is durable, yet
        growing cotton requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers.
        Further, the land use required to grow cotton for commercial purposes
        is significant; this land may be better used for other purposes, such
        as food production.
    -   Reusable Recycled Cotton and Similar Fabrics - Eg. made from waste
        industrial fabric, trimmings and mill ends - This material is
        challenging to produce due to difficulties separating cotton from
        other fibres; for the same reason, recycled organic is not possible;
        polyester is more durable, and therefore, can withstand more reusable
        trips.
    -   Biodegradable Bags - Biodegradation adds green gas emissions to the
        atmosphere, contributing to global warming; it also does not address
        the environmental problem of using significant resources to produce a
        product with a very short life.
    


    -- FACT SHEET: PC(R) GREEN(R) PRODUCT LINE-UP --
    ------------------------------------------------
    When it comes to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, small
everyday decisions - such as which products we use in our homes - can have a
big impact. President's Choice(R) Green(R) offers environmentally-responsible
and convenient products that don't cost the earth - in fact, in most cases,
they cost the same as conventional products.

    
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) "Canada's Greenest Shopping Bag(R)" - A soft, durable
        shopping bag made with 85% post-consumer recycled material. Take this
        bag for your weekly shopping, and you'll use up to 100 fewer plastic
        bags a year.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Shopping BOX - A sturdy alternative to plastic and
        paper shopping bags - Loblaw is the only retailer to offer a bin.
        Increased bin use equals less plastic bags in landfills.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Pick-a-Size Paper Towel (8 Roll) - Strong and
        absorbent unbleached (therefore, no chlorine) paper towels made from
        100% post-consumer recyclables. Pick-a-size feature lets you use a
        lot or a little - depending on the size of your spill. Also, more
        paper on one roll (double roll) means less packaging (plastic wrap,
        corrugated role).
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Bath Tissue (24 Roll and 12 Roll) - Bath tissue made
        from 100% post-consumer recyclables and bleached using a chlorine-
        free process.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) 100% Unbleached Coffee Filters (No.4 and No.2, 100s) -
        Their natural beige colour means they've never been bleached -
        therefore no chlorine was used in the manufacturing process.
        Bleaching with chlorine pollutes our waterways.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Toilet Bowl Cleaner (710 ML) - Chlorine-free,
        biodegradable formula.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Active Oxygen Bleach (3.6 L) - Chlorine-free formula;
        uses hydrogen peroxide in place of chlorine to remove tough stains;
        safe for colours and delicate clothing.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Baking Soda (1 KG) - All-natural way to clean and
        deodorize the home. An eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical
        cleaners.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) 3x Concentrate Coldwater High Efficiency Detergent
        (976 ML) - Specially formulated for cold-water washing; it is
        fragrance and dye-free. Washing clothes in cold water uses 85% less
        energy than hot-water washing; its concentrated formula requires 66%
        less packaging, resulting in less waste and fewer greenhouse gas
        emissions.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Fire Log (Case or single) - Made from used coffee
        grounds. Produces 85% less air pollution than wood firewood (Douglas
        Fir was used as a comparison to test the benefits of firewood made
        from coffee grounds).
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Clumping Cat Litter (3.2 KG) - Made from lightweight
        corncobs, a renewable resource. An alternative to conventional non-
        renewable, clay-based cat litters.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Yard Waste Paper Bag (5 Each) - Sturdy, biodegradable
        paper bag for recycling yard waste; supports most municipal
        collection programs.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Red Decorative Landscape Mulch and PC(R)
        GREEN (R) Brown Decorative Landscape Mulch (57 L) - Made from 100%
        reclaimed wood, collected from wood-product manufacturers. A natural
        ground cover; ideal for conserving soil moisture, insulating plant
        roots, and reducing weed growth - herbicide and pesticide-free
        gardening is a crucial part of reducing toxic chemicals.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Alfalfa Pellets 3-0-2 (9 KG) - Made from 100%
        dehydrated certified organic alfalfa, this all-natural fertilizer is
        an excellent source of nitrogen and potash. It promotes healthy,
        vibrant plants and enhances the soil's ability to retain water,
        making it suppler and easier to cultivate; it also adds valuable
        fibre and organic matter to soil.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) 8-2-4 with Corn Gluten (9 KG) - Natural fertilizer
        made of corn gluten meal, bone meal and sulphate of potash. Perfectly
        suited for residential lawns, this natural fertilizer and chemical-
        free herbicide in one reduces the use of toxic lawn care products
        while inhibiting dandelion and crabgrass seed germination.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) 12-1-5 Lawn Food (9 KG) - All-natural fertilizer made
        with no fewer than 90% renewable resources, this family of products
        contains no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or petrochemical-based
        ingredients.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Leaf Compost (15 KG) - Organic soil conditioner made
        from composted leaves and yard clippings from residential leaf
        collection programs.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Bonemeal (2 KG) - Natural fertilizer made from 100%
        renewable resources.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Organic Plant Food (9 KG) - 100% organic plant food.
    -   PC(R) GREEN(R) Blooming Plant Food; PC(R) GREEN(R) Tree & Shrub Plant
        Food; PC(R) GREEN(R) Garden Plant Food (2 KG) - Formulated with
        renewable resources.

    (*) Loblaw expects to sell at least 10 million "Canada's Greenest
        Shopping Bags(R)" in 2007. Studies have shown each bag can divert up
        to 100 single-use plastic bags from landfill. Usage is determined by
        consumer behavior, which may differ from Loblaw's expectations.
    (xx)The President's Choice/Ipsos Reid Green Survey was conducted between
        March 19 to 22, 2007. A representative, randomly selected sample of
        1,194 Canadians, 18+ years, was surveyed. The results are accurate
        to within +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
    

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Andi Argast or Heather Spriet, Edelman, (416)
979-1120, andi.argast@edelman.com, heather.spriet@edelman.com; Elizabeth
Margles, Loblaw Companies Limited, (905) 459-2500 x2263,
elizabeth.margles@loblaw.ca


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