Wilfred’s tells customers to keep using the paper bags and eco bags that the brand gives to them whenever they buy something from the store. Since it opened its doors in 2016, the shop has been doing its best to reduce its consumption of single-use plastic both to raise awareness and to cut down its own carbon footprint.
Wilfred’s uses paper bags, old totes, and new eco bags to pack grocery items bought by its customers. “We have many fabric bags and woven bags here at home that have been used for years. Many of them are in new homes now as we used them to pack groceries bought at Wilfred’s,” Sigrid Salucop of Salucop Group, Inc. says.
“Most of the time, customers say no to the native bags as they are relatively expensive to be given for free but we always explain that all we want is to extend their usefulness instead of them sitting in storage unused,” she adds.
“Bags made from biodegradable materials still have an environmental impact but if you keep using them, you will help reduce the energy needed to make new ones. It is not advisable to underutilise bags like these because using them only once is a huge waste of resources,” Salucop explains.
Based on data from reusethisbag.com, one person who chooses to use reusable bags over his or her lifetime would reduce the number of plastic bags that go to landfills. The website notes that it will “remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment.”
The brand also uses paper bags, another good choice for retail shops as they are biodegradable. Experts note though that paper bags require a lot of chemicals and energy to produce.
“For paper bags to be environmentally friendly, we encourage our customers to use them at least four times. Using them more will definitely make a lot of environmentalists happy. It will make us very happy too because this is one of our ways to fulfill our sustainability goals,” Salucop says.
Despite selling some imported items with plastic packaging, Wilfred’s is hopeful that its use of paper bags, old totes, and eco bags will reduce the plastic that goes to the province’s landfills.