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Canadian grocery chain phasing out plastic bags

Canadian grocery store chain Metro is doing away with single-use plastic bags this year. The Quebec-based company announced this week that all stores will stop offering plastic bags as of September and locations in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. are getting a head start.

The stores in the Sault will be no longer offering plastic bags as of June 6.

This comes after Walmart stores stopped offering plastic bags earlier this year.

Johnathan Shemilt, manager of Walmart in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. told CTV News moving from single-use plastic bags to reusable ones has been a relatively smooth transition.

"Our customers are looking for an environmental change as well as we are," Shemilt said.

"I think, for the most part, it’s been pretty good feedback so far from the customers. There’s always going to be a little bit of a learning curve that goes along with anything like this, but for the most part, most customers are bringing their own bags."

David St. Georges with Sudbury-based environmental group reThink Green told CTV News the banning of single-use plastics by two retail giants like Walmart and Metro represents a major environmental shift.

"So, if a family gets five plastic bags every two weeks, times that over a year, times that by a hundred families going through these stores every day, it’s a tremendously large amount of plastic than we actually think it is," St. Georges said.

While some Walmart customers have had a harder time adjusting than others, one shopper CTV News spoke with in Sault Ste. Marie said the change is necessary.

"You’ve seen all the pictures of all of the bags in the oceans, and in the seas, and in the lakes, and in the rivers, and the geese, and the ducks, (and) I think it’s a great idea,” the female shopper said. “It’s simple, it’s an easy transition.” Top Stories

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