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Thrifty Foods, BC’s Green Grocer, Plastic Bag Free

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Plastic Bag Free
March 14, 2012 – Thrifty Foods, located in British Columbia (BC), Canada will remain plastic bag free. “We have been plastic bag free since 2009″, said Erin Kelly, Communications Manager with Thrifty Foods. Ms. Kelly also stated, “We are not reintroducing plastic bags into our system.”

Thrifty Foods, founded in 1977, is a chain of supermarkets in British Columbia, Canada. Founded and headquartered in Victoria, Thrifty Foods now operates 27 units throughout Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland from Vancouver to Surrey to Abbotsford. As the crow flies, Victoria, BC is 48 miles from Bellingham, Washington, USA.

Plastic Bag Pilot Program
Lat year, two years after going plastic bag free, Thrifty Foods brought plastic bags back to three stores in the Vancouver area in a three-month pilot program. The program was to raise awareness about single-use bags.

After the pilot program, all feedback from every community where stores are located was evaluated. Thrifty Foods is dedicated to supporting the environment and therefore, the company’s bag of choice is reusable bags.

Choose To Reuse

The company offers their own reusable bag that customers can purchase. Customers may also select Kraft paper bags. “Choose to Reuse” is Thrifty Foods’ reusable bag campaign.  Two incentives are offered to customers who Choose to Reuse:

  • Three cents is given back to the customer for every bag returned.
  • The customer is given an entry form to win a gift basket packed with groceries bi-monthly.

According to Ms. Kelly, customers return with reusable bags four out of ten visits.  Machine-washable and non-insulated, Thrifty Foods reusable bags are made of 20% recycled content and carefully sourced to meet and exceed safety standards set by Health Canada.

When asked about recycled content paper bags, Ms Kelly said they found that the bags weren’t sturdy enough.

BC’s Green Grocer
Thrifty Foods supports the environment in many ways. Firm supporters of locally-grown food, Thrifty Foods hand-picks their suppliers and growers from the BC area. Thrifty Foods has offered organically grown products for over 20 years and now sell hundreds of varieties, including organic cheeses.

The company is one of only seven companies participating in BC Hydro’s Energy Manager Program. They use sustainable best practices in designing and building “green buildings”.

The company offers in-store recycling of plastic bags, plastic bottles, cardboard and electronics. They are making a huge difference in landfills and solid waste.

One of the coolest offerings of Thrifty Foods is their sustainable seafood program. Partnering with Vancouver-based EcoTrust Canada, they have launched a website dedicated to helping you trace your fish from shore to store. Certain species that you buy at Thrifty Foods can be traced to learn where that fish was caught, who caught it, and what the boat was called.

Learn more by visiting Thrifty Foods’ website.

One Response to Thrifty Foods, BC’s Green Grocer, Plastic Bag Free

  1. Tracy Brown

    2012/06/27 at 2:13 pm

    I grew up in Victoria and came back for a visit this summer. I went to shop at Thrifty’s and was thrilled with the quality of the reusable bags, and the price. I bought a bunch of them back to California with me and have been giving them to friends who have seen them and love them. The cities down here are talking about going “bagless”, but the recycled alternatives they sell are either too flimsy or too expensive. Clerks and managers in our local stores have commented on them also. I now keep these bags in my car and take them with me wherever I shop (something I have never done before). You have inspired me…Kudos!