Canadian food and pharmacy retailer Loblaw is encouraging its customers in British Columbia, Canada, to bring their own shopping bags.

From 16 February, the company will begin transitioning away from single-use plastic shopping bags at its stores across the province, including Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer Real Canadian Liquor Store, Extra Foods and PC Express.

The move is part of Loblaw’s efforts to reduce its use of single-use plastic and overall environment footprint.

Loblaw Companies chief operating officer Robert Sawyer said: “We are a purpose-led organisation, with a goal to help Canadians live life well.

“Our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint is an important part of that.

“Our efforts to remove single-use plastic bags from our stores have already resulted in 13 billion fewer bags going to landfill. But we know there’s more work to be done.

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“This announcement represents our continued commitment to protecting our environment across the region and beyond.”

While customers are encouraged to carry their own bags to the stores, they will also be able to choose from several reusable alternatives at checkout lanes, including black PC reusable bags and PC reusable totes.

This move is the latest in a list of announcements made by Loblaw as part of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.

Loblaw previously said it is committed to reducing plastic waste by making all its control brand and in-store packaging recyclable or reusable in the next two years.

The company aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 for Scope I and II emissions, before reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 for Scope III.

It also aims to send zero food waste to landfill by the end of this decade.

In November last year, Loblaw stopped offering single-use plastic shopping bags at its stores across the Canadian Northwest Territories.