NLC elim­i­nat­ing plas­tic bags

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial - BY ROSIE MULLALEY ST. JOHN’S, N.L. rosie.mullaley@thetele­gram.com Twit­ter: Te­lyRosie

Peo­ple in this prov­ince pick­ing up their favourite bev­er­age at their lo­cal liquor store will soon have to find an­other way, other than plas­tic bags, to carry their pur­chases.

Ef­fec­tive Nov. 1, all 29 New­found­land Liquor Corp. (NLC) stores - 25 cor­po­rate stores and four smaller satel­lite stores - will no longer pro­vide plas­tic bags for cus­tomers.

“We feel this is go­ing to have a very pos­i­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment,” NLC chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Wally Dicks told The Tele­gram Wed­nes­day.

“We see this as a good thing.” As part of the new ini­tia­tive, the stores will also rein­tro­duce four-bot­tle re­us­able bags at a cost of 99 cents each.

The last time re­us­able bags were sold in NLC stores was in 2012, Dicks said.

“At the time, there just wasn’t a lot of us­age of them,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of sales in our stores.”

Since then, how­ever, cus­tomers have ex­pressed concerns about the us­age of plas­tic bags and their de­sire to have re­us­able bags in­stead, he said.

“This is a purely busi­ness de­ci­sion on our part. We’re al­ways lis­ten­ing to our cus­tomers and, of course, the en­vi­ron­ment is an­other part of the de­ci­sion.”

“But a lot of feed­back we’ve been get­ting from cus­tomers in the last sev­eral months has been (about) the plas­tic bags, ask­ing us what we’re do­ing with plas­tic bags and about the en­vi­ron­ment.”

NLC cus­tomers use about 4.9 mil­lion plas­tic bags a year, he said.

Dicks said while there may be some cus­tomers who feel in­con­ve­nienced by the elim­i­na­tion of plas­tic bags, he pointed out that pa­per bags will still be avail­able for cus­tomers, as well as boxes to carry larger pur­chases. Cus­tomers are also free to use their own re­us­able bags.

Stores across the prov­ince will make cus­tomers aware of the change over the com­ing week with poster dis­plays and sig­nage in stores, as well as bag in­serts.

The change will also have fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits. By elim­i­nat­ing plas­tic bags, Dicks said, the cor­po­ra­tion will save about $180,000 an­nu­ally.

JOE GIB­BONS — THE TELE­GRAM

The New­found­land Liquor Corp. will stop pro­vid­ing cus­tomers with plas­tic bags as of Nov. 1, although pa­per bags will still be avail­able.

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