Publix saves 1 billion paper, plastic bags

LAKELAND, Fla. Publix last week announced a successful sustainability effort to recycle paper and plastic bags used at checkout.

The grocer said its campaigns to encourage the use of reusable bags, as well as donating reusable bags to nonprofits and partner organizations in its markets, have led Publix to save 1 billion bags. In 2009, the company’s overall recycling rate was 45%, Publix said.

“At Publix, we are fortunate to have customers and associates who are committed to sustaining our environment,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations. “That’s why we focus on the responsible use of environmental resources and offering our customers and associates options when choosing paper, plastic or reusable bags.”

The company has offered in-store recycling of paper and plastic bags since the mid-1970s and introduced its first 99-cent reusable bags in mid-2007. Since the introduction, more than 13 million reusable bags have been sold at Publix locations.

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