In conjunction with America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, Weis Markets has announced a store-wide commitment to use 100 percent recyclable modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) meat trays for its fresh meat products. Weis has partnered exclusively with Clearly Clean Products, an Orwigsburg-based company that specializes in custom thermoformed packaging solutions, to develop the industry's first closed-loop recyclable meat tray.
Weis began introducing the new meat packaging to its 162 stores for its kabobs and ground sausage, but plans to extend the packaging to its ground beef product line in early 2013. Weis will be evaluating further expansion across other meat products throughout the year.
The new recycled trays are made from 80 percent recycled PET and are easily recycled by customers after use. The patented, Peel-A-Tray packaging will eventually replace more than 11 tons of non-recyclable air sealed and polypropylene trays on which its fresh meat products were wrapped previously.
"We are excited to have worked exclusively with Weis to develop and launch the Peel-A-Tray technology. Once the tray is used and the liner separated from the tray, the plastic tray can be recycled easily along with water and soda bottles, making it the first truly recyclable MAP food tray available on the market," says Robert Kratochwill, sales manager for Clearly Clean Products. "Weis is the perfect partner, as its commitment to its customers and communities to continually adopt sustainable packages and practices is second to none."
"This new packaging program underscores Weis Markets' strong commitment to adopting sustainable practices to minimize our impact on the environment," says Patti Olenick, sustainability manager for Weis Markets. "We are continually increasing our conservation efforts, providing recycling opportunities for both our associates and customers, and evaluating our store designs to meet with our standards for environmental leadership and stewardship. We strive to lead by example, helping to make a significant difference in our communities."
The recyclable trays are part of a much larger sustainability program at Weis Markets to help reduce the company's carbon footprint. Weis works to educate associates and customers on the best way to control waste, retrofits stores to be more environmentally friendly and maintains a steadfast commitment to purchase local produce within the states it operates, supporting local growers, reducing shipping and advancing sustainable agriculture.
In 2012 alone, the company recycled 34 million pounds of paperboard, 280,000 pounds of office paper, 56,000 pounds of plastic pharmacy bottles, 528,000 pounds of waxed paperboard, 1.3 million pounds of plastic shopping bags and film plastics, and 1.5 million pounds of food waste. In one year, Weis has diverted more than 37 million pounds of recyclables from landfills.
In addition to in-store programs, Weis partners with the U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) in its SmartWay Transport Program to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of its vehicle fleet and is a member of the EPA's GreenChill program, which monitors refrigerant usage to help reduce the overall environmental impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The company is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, an internationally recognized green building certification system.
For more information about sustainability programs at Weis, visit www.WeisMarkets.com.
Source: Weis Markets