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Jewel-Osco has surpassed the sale of a million green reusable shopping bags, reflecting what it said is the public's concern for the environment.
"We are seeing more and more people buying and using recyclable shopping bags," said Keith Nielsen, president of the 183-store, Melrose Park, Ill.-based chain that operates stores in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. "This is likely due to the heightened awareness about the environment and the impact of plastic bags in landfills."
The Supervalu subsidiary began selling green reusable shopping bags last August in all stores. Since then, it has introduced a line of insulated blue bags designed to keep cold and hot products at temperature, as well as a few specialty printed reusable bags.
Jewel-Osco said it's been committed to the environment since the early 1940s, when it launched a campaign to reduce paper packaging and paper bag use. The company introduced an innovative customer plastic bag recycling program in 1971, which is still operational to date at all stores.
Chicago's market leading grocer operates a reclamation center in Melrose Park, which handles a wide array of materials. Since 1990, Jewel-Osco has recycled: over 14,200 tons of plastic bags, over one million tons of corrugated cardboard, over 2.6 million tons of shrink-wrap, and over 1.2 million fluorescent bulbs.
In addition to its recycling efforts, Jewel-Osco is also active in a variety of voluntary industry programs to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases.