Our new shopping bag has a side hustle: it now composts as well as carries. 

It’s part of Calgary Co-op’s effort to reduce plastic shopping bags.

CALGARY, MARCH 15, 2019 - Calgary Co-op is taking steps to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags we use.

“We are increasingly hearing from our members that they want us to cut back on plastics, so we‘re taking action to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags we provide,” says Ken Keelor, Calgary Co-op CEO.

Under the banner of “together for good” Calgary Co-op is taking three specific actions.

1. We are introducing a new 100% compostable shopping bag on April 22 (Earth Day) that our members can use to bag groceries and other Calgary Co-op purchases AND THEN at home to bag compost to help keep your kitchen compost pail and green bin clean. This bag costs 10 ₵ a bag and is bigger and stronger than the typical compostable pail liners you buy off the shelf.

2. We will begin charging 5₵ a bag for plastic shopping bags (also on April 22). Charging for bags has proven effective in terms of reducing demand for plastic bags in other jurisdictions and with other retailers.

3. Finally, Calgary Co-op is encouraging our members and shoppers to up their game on reusable shopping bags. We estimate that the average Calgary Co-op shopper has 15-20 reusable bags tucked away in cars, closets and cupboards. It’s time to liberate these grocery haulers! For each reusable bag you use, we will donate 3₵ to Calgary Co-op’s Community Foundation on your behalf.

Our members and shoppers will have various options to carry groceries, liquor and other Calgary Co-op purchases home.

“As grocers we acknowledge the role that plastic plays to help us transport and carry our shopping items as well as protect foods from damage, provide food safety and extend freshness,” added Keelor. “We also know people are concerned about plastic and this is a start for us in terms of plastic reduction. Using non-plastic shopping bags is one of the easiest changes that Calgary Co-op and our members can make to reduce plastic usage associated with shopping.”

Tips to make reusable bags a habit:

  • Make them the first item on your shopping list.
  • Keep your reusable bags handy in the car or front closet, and it’ll be easier to remember to bring them in to the store. Immediately put your bags back in your handy spot when you’re finished unpacking.
  • Involve your kids! Explain what you’re trying to do and the reasons why. They’ll help you remember.
  • Ask Google, Alexa or Siri to add reusable bags to your voice generated shopping lists, so you’ll always have a reminder.
  • Be extra disciplined while forming your reusable bag habit. If you forget your reusable bags zip back to the car or house. Yes it’s a pain, but this inconvenience will help you remember next time.
  • Program your smart phone with a reminder that pops up when you’re nearing your local Calgary Co-op, and you’ll remember to bring your bags from the car into the store.

About Calgary Co-op
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore include food centres, pharmacies, gas bars, car washes, commercial cardlocks, home health care centres, and wine, spirits and beer locations. With over 440,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of $572 million and annual sales of $1.2 billion, Calgary Co-op again received recognition as one of Alberta's Top Employers in 2019.

For more information:
Kurt Kadatz, Communications Director, Calgary Co-op
(O) 403-219-6025 ext. 6912
(C) 403-585-6893