In recognition of Earth Day, ShopRite highlighted its efforts to focus on sustainability and ecological protection, which includes making it easier to know how to recycle its own brands. Other efforts are focused on planting trees, reducing food waste, protecting animal habitats and sponsoring community cleanup events.
“We believe it is important to take a holistic approach to sustainability that involves working in our stores and our communities,” said Robert Zuehlke, manager of corporate social responsibility for ShopRite. “ShopRite associates often volunteer to plant trees, clean beaches and encourage recycling efforts. We are proud of everything ShopRite does to help the environment.”
The company said that in its 40-plus years in business, it has recycled more than 2.6 million tons of materials, and all of its stores feature dedicated recycling bins. Its latest recycling effort is focused on its own brands, with many private label products now sporting a How2Recycle label. Developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the label features easy-to-read instructions on how to recycle the product. Currently, ShopRite has rolled the label out to many of its own brand items, including Paperbird home cleaning products and Bowl & Basket food and beverage products.
Keasbey, N.J.-based ShopRite also is working to protect bald eagles facing loss of their natural habitat. The retailer this year is supporting the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s Bald Eagle Project. Over the past 20 years, ShopRite said it has donated $100,000 to the organization. Also on the ecology front, ShopRite said it is working with One Tree Planted to elp plant 25,000 trees annually in the areas that it operates. By the end of this year, it will have helped plant more than 75,000 trees in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware.
The company also is focused on reducing food waste, donated more than 5,000 tons of fresh food to local food banks annually, as well as donating roughly $5 million to food banks in 2020. It also has composted and diverted some 8,200 tons of food waste from landfills in 2020. In 2019, the company was awarded Organix Recycling’s inaugural Pioneer Award.
ShopRite’s sustainability efforts also include working with America’s Grow-a-Row in the creation of abee and pollinator garden at the organization’s farm in Pittstown, N.J.
Also on a local level, ShopRite said that its stores are home to more than 100 green teams, which participate in ShopRite-sponsored community and in-store cleanup efforts.