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Metro to accept reusable containers for fresh food

New program to go into effect at Quebec stores next week

Metro Inc. is taking a different approach to cut back on single-use plastics.

The Canadian supermarket chain said yesterday that, starting next week, customers will be able to bring in their own reusable containers and zipper bags to hold fresh food products purchased in Metro stores across Quebec.

Plans call for the deli, meat, ready-to-eat meals, fish and seafood, and bakery counters in all Metro stores in Quebec to accept customers’ resealable plastic containers and bags to package food beginning April 22.

“We want to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging. 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,” Marc Giroux, senior vice president at Metro, said in a statement.

Metro already has piloted the reusable container program at stores in Drummondville, L’Ancienne-Lorette and Saint-Eustache, Quebec.

Montreal-based Metro noted that the reusable container program is part of other efforts to lessen its environmental impact, including measures to manage its refuse, reduce food waste, optimize packaging and increase the energy efficiency of its buildings. For example, to help scale back plastic waste, the retailer in 2009 began charging shoppers five cents for single-use plastic bags, instead encouraging them to carry their groceries in reusable bags.

The company added that it’s now finalizing a policy for packaging and printed materials to further help reduce packaging waste. The new policy is slated to be released in the first half of 2019.

Overall, Metro’s retail network includes more than 600 food stores under the Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics banners as well as over 650 drug stores under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

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