The paper bags currently used by some BC Liquor Stores. (BC Liquor Distribution Branch)

The paper bags currently used by some BC Liquor Stores. (BC Liquor Distribution Branch)

BC Liquor Stores to phase in paper bags province-wide

No timeline exists, but stores use 22 million plastic bags each year

Plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past at BC Liquor Stores.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch has put out request for proposal for companies that can provide environmentally-friendly and cost-effective paper bags.

The province is already using paper bags in five cities that ban plastic bags, including Victoria, Salmon Arm, Tofino, Courtenay, and estimates they each go through 2,000 bags a week.

The response there has been “very positive,” spokesperson Viviana Zanocco said.

The paper bags the province is looking for will be 9.75 inches wide, six inches deep and 17 inches high, made from “natural kraft paper,” contain at least 40 per cent post-consumer recycled content, be 100 per cent recyclable or compostable and be able to carry a minimum of 7.5 kilograms without breaking.

“We are committed to minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment, and to providing customers with checkout bags that are manufactured responsibly and widely recyclable,” Zanocco said.

All bids must be submitted by Aug. 30, 2019, although there is no timeline laid out for when the paper bags will be phased in.

Zanocco said the timeline “depends on the procurement process and when we can enter into a contract with a vendor who can meet our requirements.”

The federal government announced earlier this year that single-use plastics will be banned in Canada in 2021.

READ MORE: Canada to ban single-use plastics in 2021

READ MORE: Canadian shoppers want green packaging, but reluctant to pay more: study


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