BYOBag: LCBO swapping paper bags for eco-friendly alternatives

A Canadian flag flies near an under construction LCBO store in Bowmanville, Ont. on Saturday July 20, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

TORONTO — The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says it will phase out paper bags at its retail stores, a move the provincial agency says will save the equivalent of 188,000 trees each year.

The Crown corporation says 15 years after it trashed single-use plastic bags, it will discontinue paper bags over the coming months at its stores.

The LCBO says customers are encouraged to bring reusable bags, or they can purchase them.

Customers can also request a re-used cardboard box or an 8-pack carrier at no cost.

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The LCBO says the initiative will remove roughly 135 million paper bags annually from its stores, diverting some 2,665 tonnes of waste from landfills.

It comes after the LCBO partnered with Tree Canada, a non-profit, as part of its latest sustainability campaign to raise money to plant trees in Ontario.

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“Fifteen years ago, we took the lead to remove single-use plastic bags from our stores. Now, the removal of single-use paper bags is another important step in our efforts to minimize our impact on the environment,” said George Soleas, LCBO president and CEO.

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