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Wegmans Food Markets and The Nature Conservancy have reunited to celebrate Earth Day all month long with an initiative that aims to encourage more sustainable behaviors and raise funds for protecting lands and waters.
In April 2014, the two companies collaborated on a program that recycled 220,000 pounds of plastic bags and film — 25 percent more than what Wegmans stores recycled the previous April.
This year's joint campaign encourages the use of reusable bags over plastic or paper. The grocer will contribute 25 cents to The Nature Conservancy for every pound of paper and plastic bags saved, with a minimum contribution of $10,000. Funds raised will go to the Arlington, Va.-based conservancy's work in central and western New York.
"By each of us taking little steps every day, we can have tremendous positive impact on our environment," said Jason Wadsworth, manager of sustainability at Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans. "Breaking old habits and creating new ones is hard, which is why we are once again working with The Nature Conservancy this April to raise awareness about this issue and to reward our customers' efforts to do the right thing."
Although Wegmans already has a year-round bag-recycling program, it wants more of its shoppers to convert to reusables as the most sustainable choice.
"We're optimistic that together we can significantly reduce the amount of bags we use and generate an exciting contribution for conservation," explained Wadsworth. "This initiative is a great way for our people and customers to celebrate Earth Day, and help take action in their community to create a healthier and more sustainable world all year long."
Family-owned Wegmans operates 85 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.