Will COVID-19 affect Wetaskiwin’s single-use plastic ban?

City of Wetaskiwin’s single-use plastic ban still stands amidst coronavirus reusable bag concerns.

On July 9, 2019, The City of Wetaskiwin became the second community in Alberta to ban single-use plastic bags. However, their positive step forward in environmental conservation might be challenged due to COVID-19.

With concerns over the use of personal shopping bags during the coronavirus pandemic, grocery chains like Canadian supermarket company Save-On-Foods have temporarily banned the use of reusable bags as COVID-19 spreads.

“Both our team members and customers have expressed concern about bottle returns and in using reusable bags,” said Save-On-Foods president, Darrell Jones. “The health and safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and we’ll continue to do what’s best for them as this unprecedented situation evolves.”

Also making changes to its reusable bag policy is Loblaw, the parent company of Shopper’s Drug Mart, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore. They are now removing the fee for plastic grocery bags and asking customers to limit the use of reusable bags.

However, Jordan’s No Frills in Wetaskiwin has found itself in a strange situation, now facing two opposing policies because of coronavirus.

As of this time Jordan’s No Frills still accepts reusable bags but is in discussion with the City of Wetaskiwin on whether or not the single-use plastic bag ban can be temporarily suspended while the province deals with COVID-19 concerns.

Wetaskiwin Safeway is also standing by the plastic ban; their manager says that, “at this time there has been no change to that policy.”

For now all Wetaskiwin grocery stores are still accepting reusable bags.

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