Calgary Co-op scraps plastic bags at liquor stores, gas bars — grocery stores next

Calgary Co-op CEO Ken Keelor says the company wants to be a socially responsible business in the city, so getting rid of plastic is a part of that.

Plastic bags will no longer be available as of Aug. 19

Calgary Co-op grocery stores are not phasing out plastic yet, but they are "on the path" to doing it, according to the CEO. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Calgary Co-op liquor stores and gas bars are scrapping plastic bags in favour of customers using reusable or compostable bags instead.

This announcement comes the same week that the Sobeys chain of stores said it will be moving away from all plastic by 2020.

"You know, our social purpose within Calgary is that of a responsible, trusted and dedicated resident citizen," said Calgary Co-op CEO Ken Keelor.

"Every year, we think about what's coming up in the next few years. And social responsibility is always high on our radar as a co-operative, which is owned by 440,000 members right here in and around Calgary. And so we have an accountability to our members and by always thinking about their needs."

Earlier this year, Co-op stores brought in compostable bags that could be purchased for 10 cents, but plastic bags were also available for a five cent charge. Keelor says front-line workers have heard from shoppers that they were ready for the full move away from plastic.

Co-op stores are selling an average of 10,000 compostable bags daily, Keelor says. 

Calgary Co-op grocery stores are not phasing out plastic yet, but they are "on the path" to doing it, according to Keelor.

All plastic bags will be removed from the liquor stores and gas bars as of Aug. 19. 

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.


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