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Bring your own container to the grocery store program

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Metro grocery stores announced in a press release that as of Monday April 22nd they will have a new policy in place allowing customers in Quebec to bring their own reusable containers to package

ready-to-eat meals, deli meats, meat, fish and seafood and pastries in all their stores across the province – making them the first major grocery store chain in Canada to do so. Genevieve Gregoire, Metro communication manager of Metro stores stated, ‘We want to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging and our clients do too, they were asking more and more’.

Bring your own container to the grocery store program

As Quebec’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture has very specific conditions the grocery chain must follow, they will be implementing a structure to ensure safety while their employees handle the products and the containers. Containers and zippered bags must be clean and not broken – staff will have to ensure there’s no risk to contamination since they will not be able to control how well containers have been cleaned (customers must ensure their containers have been properly washed and that there are no logos or bar codes on them) and glass containers will not be accepted due to handling risks. Some products will be weighed before being placed in the customer’s containers, while others like ready-made salads can be scooped directly in. A label will be affixed to the container prior to checkout.

‘Zero-waste’ containers will be available for purchase in-store, but must be washed prior to use. Brand-name foods with an associated barcode are exempt from this program, due to possible confusion at checkout. Signs will instruct customers what they can and cannot use. It is a great initiative and one they expect will grow exponentially.

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