Some grocery stores are changing their reusable bag policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Save-On-Foods will temporarily suspend bottle returns and the use of reusable bags in stores starting on Friday.

The decision, according to a release sent Thursday evening, was made as a precaution.

“Both our team members and customers have expressed concern about bottle returns and in using reusable bags at this time and we want to do everything we can to put them at ease,” said Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones in a statement. “The health and safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and we’ll continue to do what’s best for them as this unprecedented situation evolves.”

The decision will be in place until further notice, Jones says, adding the company will not be charging shoppers for its plastic shopping bags.

Save-On-Foods has also limited shopping hours from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at all 180 stores in Western Canada. The grocery store has dedicated the hour of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors and vulnerable people to shop.

The company is also encouraging its customers to shop normally and leave the delivery service for people who can’t get to the store.

Loblaw’s, the parent company of Shopper’s Drug Mart, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore, is also making changes to its reusable bag policy

In a message sent out to PC Optimum Points Members, the company says they will be removing their fee for plastic grocery bags at stores, and are asking customers to limit the use of reusable bags. They add customers who bring reusable bags will have to bag their items themselves.

Loblaw’s is changing hours at all supermarkets, opening from 7 a.m. -8 p.m. daily. The first hour will be dedicated to seniors and people with disabilities.

The company will be limit the number of customers allowed in their stores to promote social distancing.

Hours will also be reduced at Shopper’s Drug Mart stores across Canada, though the company asks you to call your store directly to find out what the hours are.

Source: CTV News