Sustainability is about the impact of our business on communities. We believe in shared value – the idea that our success and the health of our communities are mutually dependent. To do this, we consider social, economic and environment impacts in our decision-making so that we can all thrive into the future. That's why, starting Tuesday, September 6, 2022, Beausejour Co-op will no longer be providing single-use plastics bags at our food stores and gas bars.
Why are we doing this now? Over the last year, we sold over 710,000 bags. That is a lot of non-biodegradable bags that eventually end up in landfill, on our streets and in our water systems. Removing single use plastics from our checkout stands was always the plan and we have sourced appropriate alternatives and developed processes to make the change at all of our food store & gas bar locations.
We encourage all our members and guests to remember their reusable bags from home! We have reusable totes and bag options for sale in-store, including a reusable cloth bag for 39 cents per bag available at the tills in case you forget to bring reusable bags on a visit.
It’s time to start practicing bringing reusable bags from home when you shop at our food stores and gas bars leading up to September 6, 2022! Thank you for your continued support.
Q: Why not switch to paper bags as an eco-friendly alternative?
A: Paper bags are recyclable, but paper is very resource-heavy to produce. Manufacturing a paper bag takes about four times as much energy as it takes to produce a plastic bag, plus use harmful chemicals in production. Also, paper fibers become shorter and weaker each time the recycling process takes place, there is a limit to how many times paper can be recycled.
Studies have shown that, for a paper bag to neutralize its environmental impact compared to plastic, it would have to be used anywhere from three to 43 times. Since paper bags are the least durable of all the bagging options, it is unlikely that a person would get enough use out of any one bag to even-out the environmental impact.
It’s better to focus on reduction as opposed to “better” disposables.
Q: Will you still offer paper bags?
A: Yes. Although we are eliminating plastic bags, we will have paper bags available (as a backup) for 15 cents/bag. Beausejour Co-op still strongly encourages customers to bring in their reusable bags.
Q: Are you still going to have bags for fresh produce?
A: Yes. However, we strongly encourage that customers switch to our special reusable Co-op Gold Mesh Produce Bags. These reusable produce bags have been made specifically to work with our weight scales at our checkouts. You can purchase these at our food stores.
Q: Will there be bags for my online grocery order?
A: No. Our Click & Collect team members will still bring out your order when you arrive and assist you in placing your items in your vehicle. If you have reusable bags, please let our Click & Collect team member know when you arrive curbside.
Q: I see other single-use plastics and disposables at your food stores. What will you be doing next?
A: Federated Co-operatives Ltd. has signed on to the Canadian Plastics Pact (CPP) on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System, which includes Beausejour Co-op. By signing the Pact, the CRS is committing to four targets by 2025:
- Define problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and create a strategy to eliminate
- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
- 50% of packaging is recycled or composted
- 30% recycled content across all packaging
While these targets may seem ambitious, we are not starting from scratch. In 2019, a cross-commodity working group was formed to source alternative packaging options for the CRS.
Q: I use the grocery bags I get at your stores to dispose of my pet’s waste, and now I’ll have to buy more plastic bags, so what is the point?
A: Taking a single-use plastic bag and turning it into a "double"-use plastic bag is still not an ideal option because the bag still ends up in the landfill and it takes hundreds of years to decompose.
Corn-based compostable bags are a great alternative option.