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Wegmans Food Markets has put the answers to queries about its green activities online in the new Sustainability section of Wegmans.com, which can be found under the “About Us” part of the site.
“This section of our Web site has information that our customers want to know -- not just information that we want our customers to know,” noted Wegmans communications specialist Jeanne Colleluori. “The questions people asked shaped how this came together. We tried to provide the clearest answers we could on topics that can be very complex.”
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section features questions about carbon footprint labeling, biodegradable bags, packaging materials, and where to recycle or dispose of items such as batteries, ink cartridges and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
The Myths and Facts section, meanwhile deals mainly with the one question that Wegmans says arises more than any other: what kind of bag is best for the environment? According to the section, the right answer depends on how a particular consumer views at environmental impact. Paper, plastic, and biodegradable materials all have their pros and cons.
In answer to the question of what Wegmans is doing to help the environment, the Priorities and Achievements section identifies the three areas where the company believes it can have the greatest effect: energy reduction, including energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration systems; waste reduction initiatives such as improvements in fuel economy and transportation fleet emissions, and recycling campaigns; and products, particularly the organic, local and eco-friendly variety.
“Sustainability will always be a work in progress,” said sustainability specialist Jason Wadswoth, who writes a quarterly message for the new section. “As new information or new technologies enter the picture, our path of action may shift, and we’ll be challenged to take the next step.”
In related news, a new generation of reusable bag, made of 95 percent recycled woven polypropylene and featuring vivid images of a red tomato, purple grape or and green pea, will sell for 99 cents each with a Wegmans Shoppers Club card. The grocer has so far sold over 2 million reusable bags since they were first introduced in March 2007.
Thanks to such initiatives, Wegmans stores are estimated to be using 30 percent less plastic. “Reusable bags are part of the reason,” according to Colleluori. “The other part is a stronger plastic bag we’ve switched to that holds more groceries without double-bagging. Stronger bags let us pack groceries securely, while using fewer bags and less plastic overall.”
Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans operates 72 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.