IGA will allow the use of reusable containers


The IGA Food Supply Chain is taking another green turn by allowing the use of reusable containers for the purchase of, among other things, meats, fruits, vegetables and prepared foods from 16 September.

Sobeys, owner of the banners IGA, Tradition Markets and Rachelle-Béry, decided to implement this new measure in its 295 stores after the success of a pilot project at a dozen retailers. In particular, the trial period dispelled some doubts as to the feasibility of the project.

"The number one rule is food security. It was more where we had a fear, where we wanted to see if it was possible. But it worked very well. It is believed that the consumer is now ready and he proved it to us, "explains Anne-Hélène Lavoie, spokesperson for Sobeys in Quebec.

Beginning September 16, IGA customers, like Metro's since April, will be able to request that certain products be packaged directly into their containers brought from home. Meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, deli meats, bulk, prepared foods, Sobeys hopes with this measure reduce the amount of packaging used.

"There is a lot of questioning as a society about the environment and the number one issue in our field is overpackaging. It was the consumer who asked us and the answer was very good, "says Ms. Lavoie.

This measure is part of an environmental shift already begun in recent years at IGA.

The chain had announced in recent months the end of plastic bags in its stores on the island of Montreal from September. The pilot project could lead to complete province-wide withdrawal fairly quickly.

"We will see how it works and if there are adjustments to make, but the goal is for the beginning of the year 2020," says the spokeswoman.

These changes still represent a logistical challenge for merchants and a habit for customers.

All affected employees will be trained by the time the measure is put in place to properly identify the permitted containers and sanitary conditions in which they can be used.

For customers, it will now be to incorporate this new habit into their shopping routine. "It will be to think of placing our container, well washed, with our small mesh bags, in our reusable bag and leave them on the edge of the door so as not to forget them," advises Anne-Hélène Lavoie.

Beginning of the measure: September 16th

295: affected stores

Permitted containers



Fabric or mesh bag for dry foods and fruits and vegetables

Non-compliant containers

Container having a barcode

Plastic bag

Poorly cleaned container

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