Albertsons Cos. has unveiled its latest initiative to become a more sustainable retailer: transitioning from traditional white prescription bags to recycled brown bags by the end of 2020. The bags, rolled out in partnership with Hartsville, S.C.-based packaging company Novolex, are made of 100% recycled materials and include 60% post-consumer recycled content.
“Changing something like a prescription bag can seem like a small decision, but if we can support the health of our planet as well as the health of our patients, we’ll gladly do it,” said Mark Panzer, SVP of pharmacy health and wellness at Albertsons Cos. “We look at this move as something that positions us as a leader not only in performance and innovation, but also in environmental responsibility. We hope other pharmacies follow our lead."
The fiber in the new bags meets Forest Stewardship Council standards for recycled content and is Rainforest Alliance Certified. Albertsons said that the switch at all of its locations should save more than 5,000 trees annually.
The new bags have the words "recycle me!" on the side to encourage customers to do so, and they include additional service information for customers, such as vaccinations, specialty care, auto refills and the pharmacy app.
Last month, Albertsons revealed another change at its pharmacies: easier opioid disposal.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as New York-based meal-kit company Plated. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.