Most grocery stores in Canada don't want you to bring your reusable bags
Grocery stores in Canada are still typically frowning on bringing in reusable bags when shopping right now, but the reasoning can be varying and vague.
When it comes down to it, the issue is mostly that people don't tend to wash their reusable bags, and while we're still hammering out uncertainties about COVID-19 it's best to remain cautious.
Therefore, while reusable bags can't be guaranteed to be clean, a new bag should logically be safer.
In Edmonton, AB, Canada Safeway grocery stores have plexiglass shields for cashiers; if you bring your own shopping bags, you bag your groceries; aisles have one-way arrows; & staff disinfect shopping carts after every use.— Bogeywheels (@bogeywheels) April 13, 2020
While expert opinions vary, there was a study published suggesting that the virus could last on bags for 72 hours. The study suggests that the virus could be more stable on some materials than others. Your best bet with any kind of material is to wash with soap and water.
Some grocery stores have allowed shoppers to bring their own bags as long as customers pack them by themselves, whereas some won't even permit reusable bags right now.
In my smaller hometown in Alberta, Canada, all the grocery stores put up plexiglass between us and the cashiers.— VFenton (@NycyfF13) March 31, 2020
Tape marking distance to be kept between people in line.
Reusable bags are not touched by the cashier, customer bags their own groceries.
Grocery stores aren't the only businesses in Canada taking precautions like this. Coffee shops across the country have suspended the use of reusable cups, and many bulk food stores are currently not allowing shoppers to bring their own containers.
Environmentalists are concerned about the impact of ditching reusable bags just as packaging-free practices were beginning to take hold, but are hopeful that people will continue to embrace waste-free methods once they're more fully able to again.
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