Meijer Inc. is expanding its partnership with the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) in an effort to clean up more Midwest beaches and waterways. Through more than $1.5 million in donations since 2022, the retailer is helping to expand deployment of innovative litter-capture and cleanup technologies.
Meijer’s donations will aid in the deployment of the BeBot and the Pixie Drone litter-capture devices to 18 new locations along Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin lakeshores. Each project will collect, sort, weigh and itemize waste materials in an effort to educate the public, regional companies and policymakers on the problem, as well as on solutions.
"It's a privilege to live near the Great Lakes, and it's one we don't take for granted, which is why we're continuing to take steps to protect them," said Erik Petrovskis, Meijer's director of environmental compliance and sustainability. "Meijer was the first retailer to support the innovative technology in the Great Lakes last year, and thanks to our ongoing relationship with the Council of the Great Lakes Region and local NGO partners, we're able to expand our hands-on efforts to ensure their viability for generations to come."
A $1 million donation from Meijer last year helped support the pilot testing of the BeBot and Pixie Drone in Michigan. Those efforts resulted in the collection of 6,130 items, including thousands of plastic fragments, cigarette butts, foam pieces and plastic fibers.
"We are thrilled to be continuing and growing our partnership with Meijer, a sustainability leader in the Great Lakes region, to ensure our beaches and waterways are free of plastic litter," said Mark Fisher, president and CEO of Ottawa, Ontario and Cleveland, Ohio-based CGLR. "The work we are doing will not only protect the health of these vital waters for generations to come, the data collected will help us drive change when it comes to recycling and building a future without consumer waste."
Meijer was recently named one of Progressive Grocer's 10 Most Sustainable Grocers.
Privately owned Meijer operates 501 supercenters, Meijer Grocery, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.