Grand Rapids Business Journal, By Ehren Wynder,
Meijer announced it joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative.
Joining the initiative is among the retailer’s latest efforts to reduce waste and improve recycling, said Vik Srinivasan, senior vice president of properties and real estate at Meijer.
“Meijer operates under the philosophy that to be a good company, we must be a good neighbor,” Srinivasan said. “We are committed to lessening our impact on the environment and believe our participation in this initiative is an important step in keeping our communities clean for generations to come.”
The three-year collaboration is working to find a replacement for the single-use plastic bag that’s easy for customers to use and better for the environment.
Meijer is among numerous other retailers partnering in the Beyond the Bag Initiative that launched earlier this year by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy.
“The scale of the challenge is vast with single-use plastic bags used widely across industries, sectors and geographies,” said Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “Addressing a systemic waste challenge requires bringing stakeholders together to solve for a shared challenge. That’s why we’re thrilled to have Meijer join the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, alongside CVS Health, Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger, Hy-Vee and Walgreens. Together, we are thinking outside the box and collectively reinventing the retail bag, and we encourage other retailers to join us.”
Meijer made other significant strides in recent years regarding its commitment to sustainable practices and the reduction of plastic waste in our environment, said Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability for Meijer.
In January, Meijer opened its first small-format store, Woodward Corner Market, without single-use plastic bags. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the use of reusable bags has been restricted with the exceptions of customers using the company’s shop and scan technology and at self-checkouts.
In 2019, Meijer began adding a How2Recycle label on its own brand packaging to better help customers understand how to dispose of the materials. By 2022, the How2Recycle label will be on all True Goodness by Meijer packaging. Meijer also set a goal for its brand packaging to be made from 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable materials by 2025.
Since 2014, each Meijer store has placed collection bins inside its front entrance vestibules for customers to deposit clean, dry plastic bags and films, including single-use, bread, dry cleaning, produce and water softener bags.
This year, Meijer expects to recycle 6 million pounds of plastic bags that are sent to its distribution centers for remanufacturing into decking.