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Take a bag, leave a bag at local grocery stores

Orillia's Waste Management Advisory Committee launches pilot project with four local retailers
2019-11-18 Take a bag Leave a bag Orillia
Allie Floyd, left, assistant manager with Metro in Orillia, and Sarah Gosney, a member of the city's Waste Management Advisory Committee, are shown with the 'Take a bag, Leave a bag' bin at the Front Street grocery store. Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters

Ever forget to take your reusable bags with you to the grocery store? A city committee and local retailers have you covered.

The City of Orillia’s Waste Management Advisory Committee (WMAC) has launched a “take a bag, leave a bag” pilot project at four retail outlets. A bin will be set up at Foodland, Metro, Refillery District and Zehrs, where shoppers can borrow a reusable bag and, ideally, return the favour later.

WMAC member Sarah Gosney pitched the idea to the committee as a way to deter the use of plastic bags.

“The single-use plastic bags are an issue and a lot of supermarkets are looking at phasing them out,” she said. “It just seemed like a really good idea.”

The bins will be up at the four locations for six months, to start. At the three-month mark, a WMAC member will visit the retailers to see how the program has been going. The goal is to have the businesses assume responsibility for the program after six months.

“It’s fantastic,” Allie Floyd, assistant manager at Metro, said of the initiative. “It will hopefully get (shoppers’) minds around the responsibility, and the longevity of these bags.”

Floyd got things started Monday by stocking up the bin with some of Metro’s reusable bags.

Gosney is counting on people to use the “honesty system, where they know that they’ve borrowed a bag and want to give back.”

“If people have a supply of bags that are reusable and clean, drop them off at your local retailer and pay it forward,” she said.

Gosney thanked her fellow committee members and Coun. Jay Fallis for their support and assistance.

“Without the rest of the committee giving ideas and getting behind it, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said.

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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