lcbo paper bags

Doug Ford orders LCBO to bring back paper bags

Premier Doug Ford has asked the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to reintroduce paper bags at all of its locations

In a letter dated April 7 to the LCBO's president and CEO, George Soleas, Ford asked the alcohol retailer to reverse its ban on paper bags at a time "when many Ontario families are already struggling to make ends meet." 

The LCBO officially phased out paper bags on Sept. 5, 2023, a move Soleas said would save the equivalent of 188,000 trees every year and divert over 2,600 tonnes of waste from landfills. 

"Every additional expense counts," Ford wrote in the letter. "That includes charging customers for reusable bags instead of the free paper bags that the LCBO previously offered. This change has left people stuck openly carrying alcohol in public when leaving an LCBO store." 

Currently, the alcohol retailer charges customers $1.25 for a two-bottle reusable bag and $2.95 for a six-bottle reusable bag. 

"Paper bags are an easily recyclable alternative to single-use plastic, which is why the LCBO adopted them in the first place," the Premier wrote. 

"People rightly expect their government — and, by extension, crown corporations such as the LCBO — to be mindful of these costs and refrain from imposing additional and unnecessary burdens on them," he continued. 

"I'm requesting that you reverse your decision and work with our government to make shopping at the LCBO as convenient an experience as possible for customers while keeping costs down for the people of Ontario."

On Monday, the alcohol retailer confirmed to the Star that it has "received direction from the provincial government to reintroduce single-use paper bags" at more than 600 locations. 

"While we are not able to confirm an availability date at this time, we will share more details with our valued customers in the coming weeks," the company said.

Lead photo by

Iryna Tolmachova/Shutterstock

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