The bags are not actually recyclable in Canada, the suit claims.
Canada has strong opinions about bags: the plastic ones are definitely out, and reusables are very in. But what about plastic bags labelled as "recyclable"? Some of them definitely aren't, including those used by the SAQ, according to a newly-proposed class action lawsuit.
Dollarama's famous green plastic bags are among those labelled as "recyclable," which the suit claims is false, citing a recent report submitted to the Quebec government. The report analyzed the life cycles of reusable bags across Quebec, coming to the conclusion that, although many are described as recyclable, "they are discarded by the sorting centres in Quebec."
The issue is that many companies aren't forthcoming about the real-life cycles of their bags — Rona, Lowe's, Metro and the parent company behind Uniprix are all being accused of "greenwashing," an illegal practice in which businesses present themselves or their products as more environmentally friendly than they actually are.
If the suit is approved, anyone who has purchased a qualifying bag in-store or online would be eligible to identify as part of the class in question. The suit is seeking financial compensation and punitive damages against all the companies identified, including the Giant Tiger chain.
All of the bags being considered are definitely reusable, so the companies targeted as defendants would be free and clear had they not made the move to label their products as specifically recyclable. If the suit is approved, Canadians across the country could stand to reap the benefits of these potentially illegal practices.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.