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Celebrating Earth Day by Reducing Plastic Waste

Star Market Sustainability

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Apr 17th, 2018

Make every day earth day

This year, Earth Day is focused on plastic pollution and the lasting effects on our planet. There’s growing concern that plastic, in addition to littering our beaches and clogging our waste streams, is threatening marine wildlife and may end up in our food. Plastic pollution can come from a variety of sources, including clear film in plastic bags or product packaging. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island of plastic waste between Hawaii and California, is now twice the size of Texas because of the increasing amount of plastic waste! While fishing nets make up half of the plastic waste in the Patch, plastic debris such as water bottles, straws, wrappers and smaller fragments of plastic packaging, also account for a significant portion.

How Are We Helping?

Star Market is committed to reducing plastic waste on Earth Day and every day by reducing, reusing and recycling plastic in our facilities. In 2017, our family of stores recycled nearly 24 million lbs. of plastic film from stores and distribution centers. Our partners at Trex Company, Inc., a manufacturer of composite lumber that is commonly used for decking, railings and other commercial purposes, have helped us take plastic recycling a step further. Trex products use recycled plastic film and approximately 1,000 pounds of plastic bags in just one 500-square foot composite deck. Last year alone, the plastic we recycled helped create more than 11,000 composite decks, which is the equivalent weight of more than 3,300 elephants!

Trek Deck

The reusable shopping bags in our stores are also made of post-consumer resin, reducing the amount of plastic going to the landfill. The bags are printed with water-based inks and without heavy metals, utilizing energy efficient and clean product processes. 

We are also working towards zero waste across all our manufacturing operations. Our manufacturing facilities have committed to zero waste by 2022. In 2016, 11 of our 18 facilities were zero waste having achieved over 90% diversion from landfill.

How Can You Help?

We can all make a difference in reducing plastic pollution by being mindful of our consumption and by reusing or recycling plastic whenever possible. So how can you help? Take your own reusable bags grocery shopping, opt for reusable coffee cups or water bottles, reuse straws and look for alternatives that reduce single-use plastic. You can also return plastic bags or clear film at select Star Market stores.

Reusable Bag

Together, let’s celebrate Earth Day today and every day! Comment your Earth Day tips below and share on social with your friends!

6 Responses to Celebrating Earth Day by Reducing Plastic Waste

  1. Dino 18/11/2018 at 6:50 pm

    Are you serious? You are still providing single-use plastic bags! Hundreds and thousands on a daily basis. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. What is this, 1980? Frankly, I like your store and would go there often if it wasn’t so jarring to see nearly every person walk out with plastic bags. Seriously, single use plastics? With all the issues the environment is going through and you are just throwing away plastic? (See: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/how-to-fight-our-plastic-problem/ ) And before you respond by putting out a recycling bin for them or stating that you recycle some or even much it, please note that that is not enough. Much if not most of that which is thrown into recycling bins end up in landfills or the ocean (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html ) A much better approach would be to encourage reusable bags on a daily basis — not just once a year. In addition, maybe you could think about carrying more non-plastic single use products. A number of companies make these products, including eco-products, greenware, world centric, green paper products…etc. They don’t cost much more than your current plastic items. For the future of the world, please wake up. This is unacceptable. You are better than this, and certainly cannot call yourself “green” by putting some of the fossil fuel based plastic products you provide into a recycling bin. I beg you to join me and the other members of your community in dropping single use plastics altogether. I’ll be back (and regularly so) if you can. If not, I won’t, and I will be sure to let others in the community know about this as well. It’s time for a change.

    • Shaneen Scott 19/11/2018 at 5:34 pm

      Dino, we certainly understand your concerns. The environment is of utmost importance to us, too. We encourage all of our guests to use reusable bags when shopping in store to reduce the use of plastic. Your suggestions for the packaging of our products have been shared with our Management Teams for further review and consideration. Thank you for your feedback! -Cornelius

  2. Anna 28/11/2018 at 10:58 am

    How do I know which stores take back plastic bags?

    • Shaneen Scott 28/11/2018 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Anna! You should be able to return your plastic bags at any of our Star Market locations. Thank you! -Jayme

  3. Gerry 15/12/2018 at 12:31 pm

    Do all of your stores accept laminator film and shrink wrap for recycling?

    • Shaneen Scott 17/12/2018 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Gerry! We’re happy to find out for you. May we ask which location you’re inquiring about? -Chris

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