This morning, Sobeys, the parent company of Quebec grocery giant, IGA, made a move to ban all plastic bags as of January 2020. According to CBC News, this plan will remove some 225 million plastic bags from circulation.
Sobeys owns some 1,500 stores across all 10 Canadian provinces, according to La Presse, and this move to ban plastic bags makes it the first major Canadian grocery retailer to do so. Along with the Canadian government's plan to ban all single-use plastics by 2021, this effort from Sobey's seems like the first step to a plastic-free Canada.
"The war against plastic seems truly declared in Quebec," states a headline from TVA Nouvelles, but is a "war on plastic" really the case? Maybe not, but still, many Quebec institutions are slowly phasing-out plastic use. Here's a comprehensive list of what you can expect in the near future.
IGA, Rachelle Bery, Depanneur Boni-Soir
The businesses listed above are all Sobeys' holdings and will follow the company's mandate to ban plastic bags by 2020. The company will also gradually phase out plastic straws and single-use produce bags in all stores across Quebec.
All Montreal Universities and CEGEPs
Concordia University banned the sale of plastic water bottles in 2012, followed by Université de Montréal in 2013. This year, all Montreal universities including McGill and UQAM will follow suit and ban the sale of plastic water bottles.
McGill has already phased them out and UQAM will do so in 2021. Some CEGEPs will also ban the sale of plastic water bottles.
Montreal Music Festivals
Osheaga banned the sale of plastic water bottles and plastic containers this year and will instead have huge water trucks to quench people's thirst. Festival organizers want to extend this initiative to all Montreal music festivals.
Holiday Inn Hotels
According to TVA Nouvelles, the hotel chain is planning to phase out small plastic shampoo bottles and plastic containers in their rooms within two years.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Like many fast-food retailers, KFC is banning single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags in 2020.
Quebec's favourite chicken chain has already banned single-use plastic straws in all restaurants and is gradually phasing out all plastics.
A&W will follow suit and ban the use of plastic straws in 2020. They're hoping to ban extensive plastic use across the board.
Montreal area hospitals are trying to figure out solutions so that they can comply with Canada's plastic ban. According to TVA Nouvelles, plastic waste comprises some 20% of all hospital waste in Quebec.
Subway, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks
All the above businesses will comply with Canada's plastic ban in 2020. Starbucks has already begun phasing out plastic straws and has made improvements to their cups and lids to make them more sustainable.
Cafés and Independent Retailers
Many cafés and independent retailers in the city have already banned single-use plastics in their stores. When the plastic ban was announced, straws were the first thing to go along with cup lids and various other plastic containers.
Expect more plastic bans to be announced in the future!
MTL Blog will bring you all the updates as they come.