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Grocers Change Reusable Bag Policies Amid COVID-19

March 19, 2020 7:42 PM | News



Some big chain Canadian grocery stores are changing their policies surrounding reusable bags to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

As of Friday, Save-On-Foods will temporarily suspend the use of reusable bags in all 178 of its stores.

“The health and safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and we’ll continue to do what’s best for them as this unprecedented situation evolves,” said Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones, in a statement.

“Until further notice, we will not be accepting bottle returns or reusable bags in our stores and we will not be charging our customers for plastic bags.”

Save-On-Foods is also dedicating one hour each day (from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m) to seniors, those with disabilities and others at risk to shop in a less hectic environment. The store is also asking customers to shop normally and leave their delivery service available for people who can’t get to the store.


Loblaws, the parent company of Real Canadian Superstore, is asking customers to limit the use of reusable bags in its stores. If bringing in a reusable bag, customers will be asked to bag their own groceries.

The company, which also operates Shoppers Drug Mart and No Frills, is also waiving the fee to purchase plastic bags.

Like Save-On-Foods, Loblaws is dedicating 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to seniors and those with disabilities to shop in their stores to avoid crowds.

Sobeys, which owns Safeway, FreshCo. and Foodland, discontinued the use of plastic bags in all stores nationwide on January 31.

In an email to customers on Friday, Sobeys said it will be installing plexiglass shields to protect its cashiers. All stores will also begin to have floor markers at the checkout, indicating a two-metre distance between customers.

Updated on Friday, March 20