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Wegmans Food Markets has become the first grocery store operator to join the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s “How2Recycle Label” program. With Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans on board, the program has exceeded its 2013 goal of having 20 participating companies.
As well as being the fifth How2Recycle participant, Wegmans is the first retailer to earn a sponsorship from the Washington, D.C.-based American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) for the use of How2Recycle's Store Drop-off Label on its plastic carryout bags. The company also plans to add the label to various plastic materials, including deli and produce bags, throughout its stores.
"Wegmans has accepted used plastic bags and wrapping material for recycling at our stores since 1994 as a way to help make a difference in the communities we serve,” noted Jason Wadsworth, the grocer’s sustainability coordinator. “Our adoption of the How2Recycle Label is a step in the right direction as we try to clear up the confusion surrounding recycling.”
Goals in Sight
Wegmans’ “well-rounded approach is exactly what we hoped for when we developed the How2Recycle Label program,” said Anne Bedarf, senior manager at Charlottesville, Va.-based environmental nonprofit GreenBlue. “Wegmans’ strategy will provide benefit not only for their own stores and customers, but also for How2Recycle’s larger goals, by acting as a positive example for the grocery and recycled-film industries overall.”
GreenBlue’s goals are for the How2Recycle Label to appear on the majority of consumer goods packaging by 2016 and to give participating companies detailed information on the recyclability of their packaging.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 83 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.