Loblaw kicks-off the new year by launching its plastic bag reduction program in the City of Toronto stores and announcing partnership with WWF-Canada

    Four in five Torontonians support Loblaw plastic shopping bag reduction

    BRAMPTON, ON, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - On the eve of Loblaw Companies Limited's
Toronto launch of its "Together We Can Help the Environment" campaign aimed at
reducing plastic shopping bag use, Loblaw encourages Torontonians to take
action on protecting the environment by remembering to bring reusable bags or
boxes when they go grocery shopping.
    Starting Monday, January 12, 2009, Loblaw corporate and participating
franchise stores in the City of Toronto will no longer provide complimentary
plastic shopping bags at check-out and charge $0.05 per plastic shopping bag,
when they are requested by customers. Toronto is the lead city for the
campaign, which will roll out nationally on April 22, 2009, Earth Day.
    Research conducted for Loblaw by Leger Marketing in December 2008
revealed that four in five Torontonians (84%) support Loblaw's plan to divert
1 billion plastic shopping bags from landfills in 2009 by implementing a pay
for plastic shopping bag program.
    "From our historic opening of five bagless stores over the past 18 months
and the more than 14 million PC(R) G.R.E.E.N.(R) Reusable Shopping Bags sold,
to the positive reaction to our plan to divert 1 billion plastic bags from
landfills by the end of this year, we have had consistent feedback from
Canadians about their support of our environmental initiatives," says Inge van
den Berg, Vice President, Public Affairs & Investor Relations, Loblaw
Companies Limited. "The survey results reinforce that Torontonians are looking
for ways to take action to protect the environment and that the Loblaw
initiative is another step in the right direction to help reduce waste."
    Loblaw research indicates that the primary barrier to using reusable bags
is remembering to bring them into the store. Starting tomorrow, customers
shopping at City of Toronto Loblaw stores will notice new "Bring it" external
and in-store reminder signage, information cards and, over the coming
weekends, special teams of "Green Greeters" to help remind customers to bring
their reusable "Bring it" options.
    For those shoppers who require plastic bags, Loblaw has also invested in
a larger and heavier gauge plastic shopping bag made with plastic waste
material recovered from the manufacturing process. The thicker, larger bag
makes it stronger allowing for repeat use and more items per bag. Some
customers may notice minor adjustments to cashier stations in order to better
support reusable bags.
    To help customers with the transition away from plastic shopping bags,
Loblaw is offering a variety of special limited time promotions in its Toronto
stores. From January 9th to 18th, our PC G.R.E.E.N. Reusable Shopping Bags
(large and regular size) are 50 per cent off. Visit www.loblaws.ca,
www.superstore.ca, www.valuemart.ca and www.fortinos.ca for an online coupon
for a free G.R.E.E.N. Box with a minimum $25 purchase at participating Toronto
stores (see online details for coupons).
    "From the beginning, Loblaw has been the industry leader in helping the
City of Toronto reach our goal of reducing the amount of solid waste the city
has to manage, particularly the hundreds of millions of plastic bags used and
disposed of in the city every year," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "The
decision to introduce this program in Toronto further illustrates our shared
vision for a modern, clean, green 21st century city."

    Loblaw and WWF-Canada

    To help support environmental and sustainability goals and mark the 20th
anniversary of PC(R) Green products, Loblaw is pleased to be working on a
multi-year partnership with WWF-Canada.
    "Loblaw is thrilled to be able to partner with WWF-Canada, an outstanding
organization that shares our deep commitment to respect the environment and
who has demonstrated their ability to drive positive results in helping
Canadians take action on the environment," said Daniel Tremblay, Senior
Vice-President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Loblaw Companies Limited.
    Partial proceeds from the charge on plastic shopping bags from Loblaw
corporate stores will be donated to WWF-Canada to support environmental
programs. Details will be announced on April 22, 2009, Earth Day, in concert
with the national roll out of Loblaw's reduction of plastic shopping bag
    "We applaud Loblaw for taking a leadership position in reducing plastic
shopping bag consumption and promoting more sustainable alternatives. We
encourage everyone to go plastic bag free and look forward to working with
Loblaw to encourage Canadians to take actions that lower their impact on the
environment," said Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada.


    WWF-Canada is part of WWF, the world's largest conservation organization.
At WWF we advocate and promote lasting solutions to the challenge of balancing
growing human need and environmental sustainability. In collaboration with
business, government, communities and individuals we take a science-based
approach to the protection, management and restoration of environmentally
sensitive parts of our planet. Our work includes visionary projects focused on
climate change, freshwater and the health of habitat and species across Canada
and around the world. For more information about WWF-Canada visit www.wwf.ca

    About Loblaw Companies Limited

    Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is
Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general
merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest
private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and
franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over
140,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store
formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and
successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household
demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and
value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private)
label program, including the unique President's Choice(R), no name(R) and Joe
Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers
President's Choice financial services and offers the PC points loyalty

For further information:

For further information: images of reusable bag options/images from the
event or to arrange an interview please contact: Julija Hunter, Sr. Director,
Corporate Affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited, (905) 459-2500 ext. 6078, (416)
509-7805 (mobile), Julija.Hunter@loblaw.ca

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