Grocers are under increasing amounts of pressure from the public to reduce their waste footprint, and one of Canada’s largest grocery store chains appears to be answering the call.
Starting on April, 22 Metro will begin to accept reusable containers and zipper bags to store fresh products in locations across Québec.
The grocery giant says the program will apply to the products purchased at the deli, ready-to-eat meals, meat, fish and seafood and pastry counters. As of now, only plastic containers will be accepted by the stores, as glass containers risk breaking during the handling process.
Marc Giroux, Senior Vice President of Metro, says this is part of the company’s objective to reduce its environmental impact.
“We want to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging,” said Giroux in a release on the Metro’s website. “This is why we implemented a simple structure for customers to bring their own containers from home without having to compromise the quality or safety of the products they purchase in our stores.”
The program will kick off at stores in Drummondville, Ancienne-Lorette in the Quebec City region and St-Eustache. However, the program will not extend to Metro stores in Ontario.
In an email to Xtalks, a company spokesperson said that the while the announced project only applies to the Metro Banner in Quebec, the key project learnings will be shared with teams in Ontario to evaluate next steps.
The company also said that it is currently finalizing a packaging and printed materials policy that will be released in the first half of 2019 to make further progress and reduce packaging waste.
Other company objectives include using programs and policies to manage its waste, reduce food waste, optimize packaging and increase the energy efficiency of its buildings.
The move comes as environmentally conscious entrepreneurs capitalize on consumer push-back of single-use plastic by opening zero-waste markets across the country. These stores also encourage shoppers to bring clean, reusable containers from home to box the food in order to reduce waste.