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NLC eliminating plastic bags

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

As part of green initiative, reusable bags being reintroduced at all 29 liquor stores across province

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 booze.

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.

rosie.mullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelyRosie

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