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Charge on single-use plastic bags likely factor in Lowe's 58 percent reported drop in use

Introduction of charge in 2018 has resulted in over 5 million fewer plastic bags used in Lowe's Canada's stores

Charge on single-use plastic bags likely factor in Lowe's 58 percent reported drop in use

According to Lowe's Canada, their introduction of a charge on plastic bags at its corporate stores in Quebec in June 2018, and in the rest of Canada in August of the same year, has had a significant impact on the number of "single-use" plastic bags used in its network. 

In 2019, the customers of Lowe's, RONA, and Reno-Depot used 58 percent fewer plastic bags than in 2017, which represents about 10 million bags. In 2018, the introduction of the charge midyear resulted in over 5 million fewer plastic bags being used in Lowe's Canada's corporate stores versus the previous year. 

"At Lowe's Canada, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint, which includes decreasing the amount of waste from our operations going to landfills," said Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs, Asset Protection and Sustainable Development at Lowe's Canada. "Two years after implementing these measures, we are proud to report that charging for plastic bags and spreading awareness across our stores has helped change our customers' shopping habits." 

All profits from plastic-bag charges are donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to support its conservation work across the country. Between June 2018 and December 2019, these profits amounted to more than $125,000. 

"From salmon streams in New Brunswick, to the forests and rivers of Quebec, vital prairie grasslands, and mountains of the West, Nature Conservancy of Canada is working to protect the natural areas that support our plants, wildlife and communities. Nature Conservancy of Canada empowers people to safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life, such as Covey Hill (QC), Fort Ellice (MB) and Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve (NB)," said Aaron Bilyea, Chief Marketing Officer at Nature Conservancy of Canada. 

"We are grateful for the support of Lowe's Canada. While deterring the use of plastic bags, Lowe's Canada is also contributing directly to the work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, helping us to continue to protect the species and natural spaces that Canadians love." 

In addition, to keep providing customers with more eco-friendly ways to carry their purchases, Lowe's Canada says they will introduce a new reusable bag at its stores in the fall. Profits from the sales of this new bag will also be given to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to help it protect dozens of natural spaces in Canada, as well as their native species. 

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