Nfld. & Labrador

BYOB: Bring your own bag as NLC removes plastic by Nov. 1

One of the province's most popular stores will no longer be asking if it'll be 'paper or plastic?'

Move means 5 million fewer plastic bags circulating each year

NLC customers will start seeing a lot more of these reusable bags at liquor stores across the province. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

One of the province's most popular stores will no longer be asking if it'll be 'paper or plastic?'

As of Nov. 1, the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation will stop using plastic single-use bags at all 29 corporate liquor stores across the province.

"We go through about almost 5 million plastic bags a year," said NLC's chief operating officer Wally Dicks. "This is a big initiative for us to totally eliminate those plastic bags."

The NLC's chief operating officer, Wally Dicks, is proud his company is making the move away from plastic. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Privately operated Liquor Express locations can order the bags from the NLC until Nov. 1, but it has stopped ordering additional plastic bags.

Once its current inventory has been depleted, there'll be no more.

Dicks said the decision to stop using plastic came down to three factors: customer feedback, the positive impact on the environment and cost.

The NLC spends about $180,000 a year on plastic bags and, according Dicks, only the liquor corporations in New Brunswick and British Columbia still offer plastic in Canada.

"We've been working on it several months because we had to do some cost analysis and some review with other liquor boards," he said.

The NLC now has less than two months to get customers used to the change, a process that is underway.

As an alternative, Dicks said liquor stores offer reusable bags for sale, for 99 cents.

Liquor Express locations may choose to order these bags from the NLC distribution centre up to Nov. 1. NLC has ceased ordering additional plastic bags, so once the inventory has been depleted, that’ll be it.

The move means that the NLC is one of the largest retailers in the province to drop plastic bags.

"We're pretty proud of it and we see it as a good thing," Dicks said. "We hope our customers see it as a good thing as well and it will definitely have an impact on the environment."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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