The LCBO's Brown Paper Bag Won't Be Around For Much Longer & Some People Aren't Pleased

Bring your own bags is the new BYOB.

LCBO in Ottawa. ​
Associate Editor

LCBO in Ottawa.

The LCBO is planning to ditch paper bags in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and help the environment.

This follows the lead of several Ontario grocery stores like Loblaws, Farm Boy, and Metro, who have already eliminated single-use plastic bags.

According to a statement by the company, the move is expected to save almost 190,000 trees annually and divert more than 2,600 tonnes of paper waste from going to landfill.

“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,” LCBO's President and CEO, George Soleas, said in a release.

“We know that our customers believe strongly in our initiatives to innovate on packaging and create less waste.”

The retailer is now urging customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping in-store. If customers don't have their own bags, they will have the option to purchase a reusable bag for a nominal fee or opt for a reused cardboard box or an 8-pack carrier at no cost.

Starting May 24, the LCBO will also be selling reusable cooler bags for the summer season.

The move has been met with skepticism so far.

Many people on Twitter were quick to point out that most reusable bags cannot be recycled.

Or need to be used several times to contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

Others hypothesized that the LCBO's latest move is simply a cost-cutting measure.

An official timeline for the phasing out of the brown paper bags hasn't been offered yet.

"Depleting existing paper bag inventory may take several months and differ by location," an LCBO representative told Narcity in an email.

"We will continue to keep our customers updated as supplies deplete."

Rhythm Sachdeva
Associate Editor
Rhythm Sachdeva was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media Group based in Toronto.