Shoppers Drug Mart, a subsidiary of Canadian retailer Loblaw, is to remove single-use plastic shopping bags from all its stores as of 31 January.

The retailer will encourage customers to bring their own bags when shopping, as well as offer a variety of reusable alternatives available at checkout lanes.

The move is in line with Shoppers Drug Mart’s goal to reduce its customers’ reliance on single-use plastic and minimise their overall environmental footprint.

Shoppers Drug Mart front store and category management senior vice-president Pat Dean said: “Our commitment to fight climate change by reducing our carbon footprint is an important part of our company’s purpose.

“Cleaner communities make for healthier communities, and we’re pleased to do our part to reduce the amount of single-use plastic entering our natural environment.”

Shoppers Drug Mart has several environmental, social and governance goals to meet under Loblaw’s ownership.

The retailer has pledged to make all its control brand and in-store packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

It also aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 for Scope I and II greenhouse gases and by 2050 for Scope III emissions.

Shoppers Drug Mart is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the Shoppers Drug Mart brand.

The company operates nearly 1,350 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores in each province and two territories in Canada.

In June last year, Loblaw revealed plans to phase out all single-use plastic shopping bags across its operations by early this year.

The retailer’s corporate and franchise grocery stores, pharmacies and PC Express stores across Canada will stop providing plastic bags by the end of Q1 2023.

Loblaw stopped offering single-use plastic shopping bags at stores across the Canadian Northwest Territories last November.

The company also plans to remove single-use bags from its stores across Saskatchewan province.