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Meijer Garden Recycling

Meijer Helps Customers Recycle Plastic Garden Waste

Retailer shares strides in recycling efforts
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Meijer Garden Center
Meijer allows customers to recycle plastic gardening containers from any retailer.

Midwest retailer Meijer, Inc. is doing its part to help the environment by offering a recycling program in its garden centers. Customers can bring plastic flower pots and trays from any retailer to Meijer stores to recycle.

Meijer began collecting the plastic gardening containers in 2014 and has since recycled 1,825 tons of plastic through East Jordan Plastics, Inc., a Michigan-based plastic processing company. The retailer works mainly with three annual flower suppliers, each of which helps consolidate, sort and ship the containers back to the processing company.

"At Meijer, we integrate environmental sustainability into our daily operations because it makes good business sense and aligns with our values of caring about the communities we serve," said Jeff Lynch, garden center merchant for Meijer. "Gardening is an activity that supports a natural environment where plants can flourish, but unfortunately, the majority are sold in plastic gardening containers. By working with our suppliers and customers to recycle those containers, it's our way of being more environmentally friendly and moving the industry forward."

In addition to the garden center effort, Meijer has collection bins inside each store entrance for customers to deposit clean, dry plastic bags and films. In April, the company even donated $1 million to the charitable arm of the Council of the Great Lakes Region to help clean up Midwestern beaches and waterways.

Further, Meijer worked on a pilot project with Dow last year that enabled a new paving technique using recycled plastic bags to create a more durable parking lot at its Holland, Mich., supercenter. Its small-format Woodward Corner Market also opened in 2020 without single-use plastic bags.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food retailers in North America.

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