RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

June 01, 2009 09:14 ET

RONA Encouraging Canadian Consumers to Cut Back on Plastic Shopping Bags in Favour of Reusable Formats

Beginning today, consumers have to pay $0.05 for each plastic bag; funds will be used to support eco-responsible initiatives

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), Canada's largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, is announcing that its new plastic bag policy is taking effect today. In 2008, RONA provided some 30 million plastic shopping bags through its stores and the company's objective is a 70% reduction by the end of 2011. RONA reminds consumers that beginning today, shoppers wishing to take their purchases home from RONA stores in single-use plastic bags will have to pay 5 cents each for the bags. This measure aims at encouraging consumers to adopt reusable shopping bags, a more environmentally-friendly alternative for their hardware, home renovation and gardening purchases.

"With this initiative, RONA wants to help shoppers adopt responsible consumption habits," said Robert Dutton, RONA President and CEO. "This policy aims to decrease the number of plastic bags sent to landfill sites to diminish the environmental footprint from plastic shopping bags as well as easing pressure on non-renewable resources."

RONA has also introduced a new size of reusable bag that consumers can use for carrying larger purchases instead of having to take a single-use plastic bag, in addition to the medium-sized reusable bag already available in stores. At the same time, the various sizes of plastic bags currently available in RONA stores have been replaced by a single plastic format that's made from recycled and recyclable materials.

Proceeds from the sale of plastic bags will be used by RONA to support initiatives encouraging respect for the environment and customer awareness of eco-responsible behaviours they can adopt. RONA will call on recognized environmental organizations to assist in the choice or start-up of such projects. Projects will be reported to the public at least once a year in the company's annual reporting of sustainable development activities.

In Toronto, a municipal regulation making the 5-cent charge mandatory for all single-use plastic bags will also go into effect on June 1.

RONA and environmental responsibility

RONA's new shopping bag policy is part of the company's commitment to sustainable development. As the largest retailer and distributor of hardware, home renovation and gardening products in Canada, RONA believes it has both the opportunity and the responsibility to make a positive difference in our society by becoming the country's industry leader in sustainable development. Sustainable development as practiced on a day-to-day basis at RONA depends on three major pillars the company has identified and made priorities for action: economic development, social commitment and respect for the environment.

Among RONA's environmental initiatives is the development of the RONA ECO line of products, which have a smaller environmental footprint throughout their entire life cycle, making them eco-responsible choices. Products are selected based on rigorous criteria, in partnership with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment. Products can be identified in store thanks to specific signage which also provides complete, unbiased information on the environmental characteristics of the different categories of eco-responsible products, outlining why items were selected.

Last fall, RONA adopted a new wood products procurement policy for all its stores across Canada. RONA's new policy is intended to help preserve wilderness areas, promote responsible consumption and achieve the company's objective of providing certified forest products for its customers.

And beginning July 1, all stores from the RONA network will stop selling synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use. RONA will continue to introduce eco-responsible alternatives to pesticides to support consumers in the adoption of eco-responsible gardening and lawn care practices.

These are just a few of RONA's concrete environmental initiatives. Visit www.rona.ca for more.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 franchise, affiliate and corporate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. Visit www.rona.ca.

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