Save-On Foods: Charging for plastic shopping bags—a step forward

By LeRae Haynes –

Save On Foods in Williams Lake recently decided to charge for plastic shopping bag—a move that has been very well-received by the community.

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Save-On Manager Paul Eckersley with reusable bags. Photo: Casey Bennett

“Feedback from shoppers about having to pay for plastic shopping bags has been overwhelmingly positive,” said store manager Paul Eckersley. “We were a little anxious at first but once the community understood how many bags go into the garbage, they got behind it. We tried to paint the picture; everybody started to see it, even myself. It’s easy to sell if we’re all doing it.”

Shoppers can opt for plastic, paper, or cloth bags.“I feel so good about this decision; now we’re just trying to keep up with the demand for the reusable cloth bags,” he added.“We didn’t realize how well it would go.”

Mayor Walt Cobb said he applauds Save On for being pro-active on the plastic bag issue. “I recycle all our plastic bags, but in saying that, some still end up in the landfill,” he explained.

At the same time, Cobb said he isn’t convinced charging for the bags will be the final solution, as Super Store and Shoppers already charge for bags their plastic bags.

“Unfortunately, I must confess I end up at the store without my re-usable bags and then end up having to use the plastic ones and the few cents is not a deterrent,” said Cobb.

At this time City Council has not had any discussions on the banning of plastic bags. “I do understand, though, there are now bio-degradable bags in production,” he added.

“Plastic bags are not banned here yet, but Fort McMurray and other communities, and Europe, have all banned them,” said Eckersley. “We’re probably going to get there one day but for now this is awesome.”

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