Tops Markets LLC has enrolled in the 2019 Clean Up the World (CUTW) program. Established in 1993, Australia-based CUTW is one of the world’s largest community-based environmental programs, involving community groups, schools, businesses and local governments in activities that address local ecological issues.
To fulfill its commitment to the program, the grocer is holding a Clean Up the World Weekend on Sept. 20-22 at all 159 Tops stores across the chain's three-state market area. Over the course of the three-day event, 10,000 reusable bags made of 100% recyclable materials will randomly be given away, encouraging shoppers to use recycled bags rather than plastic ones – an especially pertinent activity in New York state, where a plastic bag ban is poised to go into effect in March 2020.
Shoppers will also learn more about earth-friendly brands available at Tops, among them Full Circle, Mrs. Meyer’s, Method and Seventh Generation, the company’s associates will take part in environmental cleanups in the communities it serves.
“At Tops Friendly Markets, social responsibility and sustainability have always been at the core of our mission, upholding standards that ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing our customers with sustainably sourced, high-quality products,” said Kathy Sautter, the grocer’s public and media relations manager. “We continue to make great strides in reducing our environmental impact in every facet of our business. For example, we are able to reduce the amount of inedible food going back into landfills by recycling over 346 tons of inedible food and over 156 tons of unusable organic products this year alone.”
The supermarket operator’s other sustainability moves include the implementation of energy-efficient LED lighting, the reduction of its use of refrigerant containing ozone-depleting gases, cardboard and plastic recycling, and food composting.
Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops operates 159 supermarkets, with five additional franchise stores, in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont, employing 14,000 associates. The company is No. 28 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.