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Ontario premier tells LCBO to bring back paper bags in stores

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford has directed the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to immediately reverse its decision to get rid of paper bags.

The LCBO announced in April 2023 that it would start phasing out the bags, saying the move would divert 2,665 tonnes of waste from landfills and save the equivalent of over 188,000 trees every year.

As of Sept. 5 the paper bags stopped being available in stores, so customers can bring a reusable bag, purchase a reusable bag, or use free cardboard boxes the LCBO provides.

Ford has now written to the president and CEO of the LCBO saying families are already struggling to make ends meet and they should not face the additional cost of having to buy reusable bags or instead “openly” carry their alcohol in public.

He also writes that the environmental merits of the decision are “questionable at best” since paper bags can be recycled.

The LCBO says it can’t yet confirm a date of when the paper bags will again be available, but it will share more details in the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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