Lowe’s plastic bag charge results in 58 percent decline in use

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec – Plastic bag use by customers in Lowe’s, RONA, and Reno-Depot corporate stores dropped 58 percent in 2018, representing about 10 million bags.

Lowe’s Canada reports that the 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.

“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 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.