Five Sherbrooke IGAs offer returnable bags

As part of a pilot project, five IGAs in Sherbrooke have been offering reusable cotton and returnable bags since Thursday. The aim of this initiative is to help reduce the environmental footprint of the chain's grocery stores.

A project that is part of the final ban on plastic bags from IGA supermarkets on March 19. "Given that we are removing the plastic bags, Sobeys wanted to do something that is significant for the sustainable economy," explains the owner of IGA Couture, René Couture, who is participating in the pilot project.

"It's a pilot project for four months, then if it works well, it will be rolled out across the banner" René Couture, owner of IGA Couture

In exchange for $ 6, customers can borrow cotton bags and bring them back when they next visit. A practical solution for those who forget their reusable bags at home. "Everyone has lots of reusable bags, but forget it at home," says René Couture. People already have 20 (at home). So it's very simple, we take the bag (returnable), we pay the sum of $ 6 and then we leave with it. "

The next time they go to the grocery store, customers can then collect their deposit amount by bringing the bag. It will then be washed and offered again to other customers.

A damper

The director of the Regional Environment Council (CREE), Jacinthe Caron, welcomes the approach, but questions the choice of cotton. "It's a good idea," she said at the outset. However, cotton also has environmental impacts and to really replace plastic bags, you really have to use them a lot. "

It invites the chain to consider bags "even more environmentally friendly" than what is currently offered, in the event that the offer is extended to all IGA grocery stores in Quebec.

Sobeys says the cotton is from India, but the bags are made in Quebec. The company was unable to tell us whether it is organic cotton or not.

"We must see these companies as being in the process of improvement, but we must not let go of them so that they truly become models of sustainable development" Jacinthe Caron, director of CREE

Ms. Caron, who has been in office for ten years, is however delighted with the turn of private companies regarding the environment. "The private company has decided to get involved and their impact is so significant," she says, even if she sees that there is a part of "green marketing".

Source: Radio Canada

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