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Meijer to Hold Great Lakes Beach Cleanup Events

Retailer teams up with environmental group to lead community projects in Michigan and Ohio
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Meijer beach
Meijer is leading two public beach cleanup events with the Alliance for the Great Lakes on Sept. 17.

Meijer, which recently began tech-enabled beach cleanup projects at Midwest shorelines, is enlisting the public’s help in keeping litter off beaches in its service areas. The retailer is sponsoring two Adopt-a-Beach events this month.

The cleanups, conducted by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, will take place on Sept. 17 between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at two locations: Traverse City State Park beach, near downtown Traverse City, Mich., and Headland Dunes State Park, near Cleveland, Ohio. The projects reflect Meijer’s concerted efforts to keep plastic pollution out of the Great Lakes and to safeguard ecologically important local resources.

"We're lucky to live in the beautiful Great Lakes, which is synonymous with summertime visits to the beach," said Erik Petrovskis, Meijer’s director of environmental compliance and sustainability. "But with that use comes the responsibility to protect them. We're proud to be hands-on in the cleaning of our beaches and encourage the public to join other volunteers from around the world that day at similar cleanup events."

Meijer first teamed up with the the Alliance for the Great Lakes in 2019. The Chicago-based nonprofit group has conducted Adopt-a-Beach programs for more than 30 years and is closing in on collecting 500,000 total pounds of beach litter.

"Adopt-a-Beach volunteers are on the front lines of keeping plastic out of the Great Lakes," noted Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the alliance. "The data they collect shows that roughly 85% of the litter cleaned up are items made partly or entirely of plastic. Sept. 17 is the single largest day of action for the Great Lakes each year. We're grateful to our volunteers and to Meijer for supporting this event and helping to keep our lakes clean and safe for everyone to enjoy."

The public events come on the heels of Meijer’s partnership with the Council of the Great Lakes Region, which has offices in Ottawa, Ontario, and Cleveland, to deploy robots and drones to scrub local beaches and waterways of litter in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The retailer demonstrated the technologies along a west Michigan beach in late August.

Privately owned Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores 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 and consumables retailers in North America.

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