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As a way to help its shoppers go green on Earth Day (April 22) and all year round, Giant Food, LLC is joining up with General Mills to encourage the use of environmentally friendly reusable bags. Customers buying $15 worth of select General Mills products from April 17 to April 23 get a coupon redeemable for five free reusable bags, allowing consumers to create their own "green checkout starter kit," since several bags are usually needed for a supermarket shopping trip.
"Through grass-roots efforts such as this, we are able to reward reusability and to demonstrate the positive impact that reusing bags can have on the environment," said Giant Food EVP and GM Robin Michel. "Helping the environment is a simple act of personal commitment, and by partnering with General Mills and our customers, we can make a substantive difference."
With the ultimate goal of discouraging customers from using plastic and paper bags, which use up resources and frequently end up in landfills, Giant has implemented a multifaceted campaign to encourage customers to change over to reusable bags by offering economic incentives. For decades, Giant deducted three cents from a customer’s shopping bill for each reusable bag filled at checkout. Last year, the company upped the incentive amount to five cents per reusable bag.
Additionally, on Friday, the grocer started featuring large in-store displays of energy-efficient Sylvania Compact Fluorescent Bulbs. "There are small steps we can all take to conserve energy," noted Michel. "We believe that prominent displays of these energy efficient light bulbs will remind our customers that energy conservation can be easy and cost-effective."
But Giant’s sustainable endeavors go well beyond marking Earth Day. Among the company’s other green programs are collecting and recycling plastic bags, recycling store-generated shrink/pallet wrap and cardboard, and instituting recycling programs in store break rooms and support offices. Giant additionally garnered recognition for superior energy performance of its supermarkets by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and was the only U.S. supermarket chain to be designated an ENERGY STAR Leader in 2007. Giant also works with the EPA through its SmartWay program, which aims to lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in transportation operations.
Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, LLC, a division of Ahold USA, operates 182 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, and employs about 22,000 associates. Included within the 182 stores are 164 full-service pharmacies.