MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 15 /CNW/ - Sobeys Ontario announced today two
initiatives to help support a greener Ontario through waste reduction and
funding local environmental causes.
To further its commitment to reduce plastic bag usage in Ontario by 50
per cent, Sobeys, Foodland and IGA stores across Ontario will no longer
provide complimentary shopping bags at their check outs. Effective May 1,
2009, a five cent fee will apply to plastic and paper single use carry-out
bags in an effort to reduce waste and encourage the use of reusable options.
"Every day, Ontarians use more than 11 million plastic bags. Three years
ago, as part of an industry initiative, Sobeys Ontario voluntarily committed
to reduce the number of single use carry-out plastic bags used in our stores
by half by 2012," said David Jeffs, President Operations, Sobeys Ontario.
"While progress has been made across the industry, more needs to be done and
user pay systems can play an important role in achieving reduction targets."
User pay systems help to evoke immediate and quantifiable change in
consumer behaviour. Stores that currently charge for bags use upwards of 55
per cent fewer bags than stores that provide customers with complimentary
bags. This initiative is a natural extension of waste reduction programs which
are already in place by Sobeys and include the Bag for Life reusable bag and
return to store plastic bag recycling.
While reducing waste is an important step towards creating a greener
Ontario, equally as important is supporting environmental action in the
communities in which Sobeys, Foodland and IGA stores operate. To this end,
Sobeys is pleased to announce a partnership with Earth Day Canada and the
creation of the Earth Day Canada Community Environment Fund.
This fund is a grass roots grant program aimed at creating opportunities
to educate and inspire action in communities across Ontario. The fund which is
modeled after a similar program operated by Sobeys Quebec with Earth Day
Canada's sister organization, Jour de la Terre, will provide local
organizations with grants of up to $20,000 to support environmental
"We are very pleased to partner with Earth Day Canada and support our
shared belief that simple actions can make a tremendous impact," said Jeffs.
"I am optimistic that our new partnership will make a sustained and meaningful
difference in our communities and benefit all Ontarians."
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the Bag for Life, as well as
single use carry-out plastic and paper bags, will be directed to support Earth
Day Canada Community Environment Fund. By reinvesting funds into the community
in which they were generated, Sobeys hopes to continue the momentum of
environmental stewardship and encourage all Ontarians to be the difference for
Complete details regarding the Earth Day Canada Community Environment
Fund are available at www.sobeys.com/environment and www.earthday.ca.
About Sobeys Inc.
Sobeys Inc. is a leading national grocery retailer and food distributor
headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire
Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores
in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland,
Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods, as well as Lawtons Drug Stores. Sobeys Inc.
is committed to providing the most worthwhile experience for its customers,
employees, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders. More information on Sobeys
Inc. can be found at www.sobeys.com.
For further information:
For further information: Tracy Chisholm, Director, Communications,
Sobeys Ontario, (905) 671-5308, Tracy.Chisholm@sobeys.com