Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it plans to eliminate all single-use plastic shopping bags from its stores by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The parent company of Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart says the move will apply to its corporate and franchise grocery stores, pharmacies and PC Express service.

It has 2,500 stores across the country.

Loblaw says as single-use plastic shopping bags are phased out systematically, province by province, customers will be have a variety of reusable alternatives.

It says customers have already rallied around reusable bags.

Loblaw says the adoption of a plastic bag fee has led to a 70 per cent decline in the use of plastic bags in its stores.