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Shaw’s and Star Markets have teamed with MY ECO to introduce the “Start Counting Change” program using the MY ECO mobile app to aid local schools when shoppers choose reusable bags. Shaw’s is the first supermarket to join the innovative effort to reduce single-use plastic bags in the state of Massachusetts.
“Decades of hard work has taught the recycling industry that achieving sustainable recycling behavior requires more than just setting out recycling containers,” explained Kristen Brown, president of Montclair, N.J.-based MY ECO. “Successful programs incorporate ongoing education, financial incentives, positive reinforcement and easy-to-use functionality. Our partnership with Shaw’s combines these critical elements in the most effective way.”
Since the end of September, Shaw’s and Star Markets customers have been able to enroll in the MY ECO program by downloading the mobile app to their smartphones and registering. Then, every time they shop using the MY ECO shopping bag set (or their own reusable bags), they scan the unique MY ECO QR code at checkout, and the app will track their use of reusable bags and allows Shaw’s to make a donation to the local school or charity of the customer’s choice. Program participants can also monitor how many bags they’ve kept out of landfills, along with the funds they’re raising for their chosen school or charity.
“Our stores continually work to use resources more efficiently, reduce waste and devise solutions that set the tone that we care about everything we do in our business and our communities,” noted Shane Sampson, president of West Bridgewater, Mass.-based Shaw’s and Star Market. “Encouraging the use of reusable bags is a key component of that. MY ECO’s program helps customers not only accomplish that goal and track their success, but also enables us to support their local schools in the process.”
More than 150 Massachusetts schools in 62 towns have already enrolled to benefit from the program, including the school districts of Peabody, Wakefield and Weymouth. My Eco anticipates that it will register 50,000 shoppers in 500 schools by the end of the year.
The app is available for iPhone or Android platforms. Consumers can go online to join the program and get additional information.