Press Releases 2019


METRO adopts a packaging and printed materials management policy


  • A number of commitments to reduce use and optimize practices
  • Invitation to customers to join this important program


MONTRÉAL, May 16, 2019 – Today, METRO is announcing the adoption of its Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy covering its corporate, food and pharmacy activities. Building on the range of initiatives undertaken over the years, METRO is releasing out a framework to guide its teams and suppliers in the efficient management of its packaging and printed materials, including reduction and optimization. This major program will enable METRO to implement practices to reduce the use of resources, limit product losses and reduce waste generation, while contributing to the global movement to tackle single-use plastics.

Rooted in two established concepts, life cycle approach and circular economy, the Policy is based on the following four principles:

  • Reduce the use of packaging and printed materials
  • Implement optimal design
  • Select ecoresponsible materials
  • Facilitate recovery and recycling

“This new policy is the result of rigorous teamwork and is part of our approach to continuously improve our practices. We know that there is growing interest in packaging—and plastic in particular—among many groups, including our customers. We are confident that the measures we are putting forward will responsibly and effectively address these challenges,” said Eric La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO.

Commitments and actions

In addition to implementing the policy’s principles, METRO is committed to taking action in priority areas owing to their environmental impacts and volumes:

  • Reduce the number of single-use plastic shopping bags by 50% in METRO’s food and pharmacy banners by the end of fiscal year 2023;
  • Reduce overpackaging and single-use plastics in our food stores’ fresh sections;
  • Reduce the total weight of the paper used in the flyers for METRO’s food and pharmacy banners by 10% by the end of fiscal year 2022;
  • For our private brand food packaging, by the end of fiscal year 2025:
    • ensure that 100% of the packaging is entirely recyclable or compostable (fibres only)
    • ensure that 100% of the packaging includes sorting instructions
    • increase the proportion of postconsumer materials to 45%
  • Eliminate single-use plastic water bottles used by our employees in METRO’s administrative offices and distribution centres by the end of fiscal year 2019.

To consult the Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy and the full list of commitments, visit

In selecting and designing more environmentally friendly packaging and innovating in its business processes, METRO will never compromise on the packaging properties that ensure product preservation, quality and safety.

METRO’s network is also taking other concrete actions. For example, since April 22, customers in Metro stores across Québec can now bring their own reusable containers to purchase fresh products—an initiative that enables METRO to reduce single-use packaging together with its customers.

The important collaboration of customers

METRO’s network of food stores and pharmacies is among the largest in Canada and serves millions of customers week after week. The scope of our activities places us in a unique position to receive feedback from customers and raise their awareness of packaging-related issues.

“Our approach to managing packaging and printed materials has always rested on best practices and the collaboration between our teams and suppliers. With this new policy, we remain committed to ongoing improvement and innovation and are reaching out to our customers to join us in this major program,” declared Marie-Claude Bacon, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications.

It is worth noting that, in addition to the private brand packaging optimization initiatives launched nearly a decade ago, METRO was the very first Canadian food retailer to introduce reusable grocery bags in 2006.

The Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy is in line with METRO’s corporate responsibility approach, which notably aims to adopt responsible procurement practices and manage the company’s environmental footprint.

With annual sales of approximately $16 billion, METRO INC. is a food and pharmacy leader in Québec and Ontario. As a retailer, franchisor, distributor, and manufacturer, the company operates or services a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as of more than 650 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners, providing employment to almost 90,000 people.For more details, visit



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