Bulk Barn Canada Unveils Reusable Container Program Across Canada

Announcements, Events, Other / Canada

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If you’re like me, you have a bit of a love hate relationship with Bulk Barn Canada. The love is because I absolutely love their products and, more importantly, their prices. The hate, however, comes from the fact that every time I shop there I feel so wasteful using plastic bag after plastic bag to refill common household items that are just going to go back in a jar when I get home.

That is why the rolling out of a national reusable container program from the Bulk Barn is so very exciting, as my relationship with the Bulk Barn will now be a love-love relationship, since they are giving us the chance to actually reduce our carbon footprint by bringing in our own containers!


The system is pretty simple. First, you must bring in a clean container, that meets some basic requirements:

  • free of chips, cracks, stains, debris, dirt, rust and residual food
  • the container or bag is reusable and is designed for food
  • the container or bag is resealable with a lid, drawstring or clip-closure
  • Paper and plastic bags are not acceptable for reuse

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Next, you will have the cashier weigh your container so that they can tare the weight from your total after you have filled up with your goodies.

Then you will scoop your products as you usually would, but remember that once the product is inside your jar it cannot go back inside the bin.

Finally, you will proceed to checkout as you normally would and have the cashier ring you up. See, saving the planet can sometimes be as simple as that!

You can click here to learn more about the reusable container program, but as of February 24th the program will be in every store across the country.

Click here to find the nearest Bulk Barn Canada location to you.

11 responses to “Bulk Barn Canada Unveils Reusable Container Program Across Canada”

  1. Mark says:

    In theory, a good idea but how will they control customers who may contaminate the food if they place it back into the bins after they put it in their containers (which may not be clean)

  2. Christopher says:

    Bulk Barn is outrageously expensive. I avoid that store at all costs.

  3. D'Arcy peeling says:

    From a cleanliness point of view it would be better if you supplied the reuseable container at a minimal cost so that they all weigh the same and therefore forego the first step of having to get the container weighed. But having allergies my concern for reusable containers is that there could be residue left in the container and then if the scoop goes in the container and touches residue it is then transferred back to the bin also germ could be transferred, so as much as I am a fan of reusing or recylcling the contamination factor bothers me. I work with the public and people do incredibley amazing not so great thinks and lie about things that they should do and don’t , sorry but just my view on it. Thanks

  4. torontogal12 says:

    While I like that this is green, I am concerned about allergic cross contamination. How well cleaned will jars actually be? Will they have more people inspecting the aisles to make sure people don’t dump things back in the main bin? If I had a peanut or milk allergy I would be skipping Bulk Barn, period.

    I think a jar deposit program or in-store washing would give me more confidence

    • Christopher says:

      I think you’re expecting too much from Bulk Barn. Although your point is valid, the end result will be that this program will be terminated in the future due to the reasons mentioned. That or Bulk Barn is expecting you the customer to be their eyes, then maybe there will be a snitch line, madness in a Bulk Barn near you.

  5. noplastic says:

    The concern of cross contamination is not well justified as most shoppers do bring clean containers to put their food in and only put one type of item in each container. There are already lots of other bulk store who allows for reusable containers. This initiative is a great idea and more companies should do the same. Plastic doesn’t decompose, it just breaks down into smaller pieces. We need to avoid single use plastics so our children can have a clean planet to live on.

  6. Dude says:

    I have been reusing the bags for a long time, provided they aren’t dirty. As far as contamination is concerned, you are probably at more risk for catching a virus from the scoops/lids than from any mixing of products or food spoilage on bags/containers. Those with severe allergies should probably avoid bulk self serve markets anyway.

    As far as prices, some things will cost more than store packaged goods, some less. Spices and yeast are among some of the best deals.

  7. cheapskate says:

    I’ve used this at the Bulk barn near work and they are super strict, you have to weigh out your containers ahead of time, a pain if the line up to pay is long, and if they detect any sort of dust or residue, they will reject your containers.

    One time when I was filling up my container, an employee came over and made sure I had already tared my container and that it was clean, so they are being vigilant.

    I’m glad this is being implemented in all their stores so that I can now use it at the one near my house.

    • FallenPixels says:

      A local bulk food store requires you use their containers. Basically, you buy them, bring them back and they give you fresh ones to buy your purchases, disinfect yours and the next customer uses them. That way they know the weights of each type and can ensure they are clean. Unless you are scooping with your container, I don’t see it being as big an issue as the people who like to scoop food with their hands (who does that??).

  8. Ciel says:

    Gravity feed dispensers as used for candies in stores would be a definite one-way only method of ensuring no contamination. However, not everyone can reach high dispensers nor correctly estimate how long to hold a lever to get only 1/4 cup of something.
    Bulk Barn’s reason for existing is selling bulk items cheaply. I don’t see this container program lasting. Have you noticed how some retail stores only have students under 18 on duty at night to cut costs? Staffing can be lighter too.

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