October 19th, 2016

Earth’s Choice Helps Tackle Waste With State-of-the-Art Omnidegradable Coffee Bags.

Earths Choice Biodegradable Coffee Bag

For coffee lovers, keeping beans fresh has always meant sacrificing some waste to the environment. Coffee bags must provide a shelf-stable barrier to oxygen and moisture, while providing a one-way valve to release naturally occurring CO2 from the roasted coffee.

That means most coffee bags are made from plastic that will last for thousands of years in our landfills – or worse, in the natural environment.

In line with their philosophy of offering sustainable products at a reasonable price point, Earth’s Choice wanted to make a better packaging choice.

So they selected a bag from TekPak solutions, made with Organic Compound Plastic (OCP) designed to break down in any environment where microbes are present – landfill, oceans, soil – eventually leaving only water, CO2 and a tiny percentage of organic matter.

Earths Choice Coffee London Drtugs biodegradable bag Green Deal Sustainability ProductEarth’s Choice says the bag is currently the only one of this type in Canada, and will decompose in less than 5 years in any post-consumer facility. (Standard coffee bags on the market can remain in a landfill for over 500 years, or multiple generations)

This packaging material complies with ASTM standards for biodegradability, and the TekPak website also has a lot of interesting information on different kinds of plastics, degradable and otherwise.

Unfortunately, the bag won’t yet break down as fast as the coffee grounds themselves, but it’s definitely a big step in the right direction. Add that to its organic and fair trade certification, and that makes Earth’s Choice a great choice when you are looking for your next green caffeine fix.

August 10th, 2016

London Drugs and MMBC Launch Expanded Soft Plastic & Styrofoam Recycling Program in Vancouver

Kevin Sorby, General Manager, Retail Operations, London Drugs, Allen Langdon, Managing Director of MMBC

Starting August 1, recycling plastic bags, plastic overwrap and foam packaging in Vancouver will be as simple as a trip to London Drugs.

This expands our usual Bring Back the Pack program, where customers can bring back packaging from any purchases they make at London Drugs (this is available at ALL London Drugs Stores) Now, for the next year, no matter where the material came from, anyone can return the following soft plastics and foam packaging to 11 Vancouver stores:

  • Plastic bags and overwrap, including grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags, outer bags for diapers etc.
  • White and coloured plastic foam packaging, (Styrofoam™) including foam meat trays, foam egg cartons and foam cushion packaging for electronics etc.

This MMBC Soft Plastics Recycling Program will be available at the following stores:

    • London Drugs Store #2, Granville & Georgia
    • 
London Drugs Store #4, Broadway & Cambie
    • London Drugs Store #7, East Hastings
    • 
London Drugs Store #10, Kerrisdale
    • 
London Drugs Store #19, Robson St
    • London Drugs Store #28, 3328 Kingsway
    • 
London Drugs Store #50, Davie St
    • 
London Drugs Store #53, 41st & Victoria
    • London Drugs Store #74, Broadway & Vine
    • 
London Drugs Store #78, Hastings & Abbott
    • London Drugs Store #82, Olympic Village.

So if you live in Vancouver, go through your closets, save up that plastic and Styrofoam and bring it back to your local London Drugs. Let’s show the rest of BC what a difference we can make!

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is partnering with London Drugs to offer this convenient option, and this one-year pilot program will be evaluated for potential introduction in other parts of the province in the future.

“MMBC’s partnership with London Drugs will increase access to consistent and convenient recycling of plastics and packaging for Vancouver residents,” said Allen Langdon, Managing Director of MMBC. “Our aim is to make recycling easier and ensure we divert more material away from landfills to be recycled into new products.”

Plastic bags and overwrap are recycled into new grocery bags, plastic pallets, containers, crates, pipes, decking and park benches. Plastic foam packaging is recycled into picture frames, construction trim, moulding, park benches and fence posts.

“At London Drugs we are always looking for ways to enhance our retail-leading sustainable programs with the goal of providing our customers with new opportunities and channels to reduce waste and recycle more,” said Kevin Sorby, General Manager, Retail Operations, London Drugs. “This new pilot program provides the citizens of Vancouver with the opportunity to go beyond their regular recycling and waste reduction habits with the ability to now be able to recycle ALL clean household foam packaging and soft plastics at London Drugs. This partnership with MMBC is our further commitment to sustainability and we look forward to seeing the results of this year-long pilot program at our 11 Vancouver London Drugs locations.”

About Multi-Material BC

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is a non-profit organization that is fully financed by its member businesses, with a mandate to manage residential packaging and printed paper recycling programs in communities across British Columbia. MMBC provides recycling services either directly to communities or by working in partnership with local governments, First Nations, private companies, and other non-profit organizations to ensure households across BC are receiving best-in-class recycling services.

August 31st, 2015

The Green Teen Back-to-School Blog Hack

Green-Back-to-School-1

Text Version with Links:

Hello! My name is Jaxon, and I am temporarily hijacking this blog tell you about some cool, sustainable back-to-school stuff – with a tour through your classic nine-to-three school weekday.

Morning time! Here you are at the kitchen counter. Instead of blindly scrambling for something in the cupboard, grab a bag of Hippie Granola! Certified organic, it’s sure to help you realize how good sustainability tastes. Want a sweeter cereal deal? Try Envirokidz from Nature’s Path. Every box helps out endangered species… how cool is that! Done with cereal? Need protein? There’s always Adams Peanut Butter! Completely 100% natural with no preservatives, the only ingredients are peanuts and salt!

Get to school! Do you ask your parents for a ride? Absolutely not! You walk! If that’s too far, you bike! If that’s still too far, you bus! Or you can even walk your bike on a bus if you want to!

It’s the first day at school! You’re a little excited, but somewhat nervous. In fact, you even almost forgot your new pencil case! The Onyx Green one, made with natural and biodegradable materials. As it happens, your pens are also Onyx Green, with casings made out of recycled tetra-pak cartons! And the pencils? Staedtler brand, made of Wopex material, containing wood made from PEFC certified forests, which means the trees are treated nicely. And really. You would much rather have your pencils made of happy trees as opposed to sad ones.

Ahhh, recess. Everyone in the school desperately trying to cram as much exercise as possible into 20 minutes. And, of course, the time of the snack. You reach into the pit that is your lunch bag and what do you pull out? Why, it’s a Clif bar! But not just any Clif bar. It’s a Clif Z-bar! Certified absolutely organic! The hardest ingredient to pronounce is triticale(trih-tih-kay-lee), and that’s a plant! And look! It’s drizzled! This stuff is gold in kids eyes! Oh! There’s the bell. Back to class.

Now, it’s time to take some notes on something you haven’t heard of yet. Best take out your paper. Some random paper made out of poor badly-treated forests? Why, no! Instead, use recycled paper, like this Hilroy 150 page-pack! The trees will forever be your friends! Yay! There’s the lunch bell!

Lunchtime! My favourite time of the day. Pigging out on the delicious snacks packed in my lunch bag this morning. The best lunch bags are insulated and reusable, PVC-Free, BPA Free with no phthalates. Inside, go for reusable food containers – no more piles of lunch litter!
Whaaat…? Back to class already?! C’mon! Longer lunch periods!

It’s the last five minutes of class and I need to make my last minute homework notes. These Post-it notes are now made with 100% recycled paper, and are recyclable! And the glue is made from plants!  They’re classic, they’re sticky, and they’re sustainable. And how about this. Did you know that you can make paper out of rocks? I know, crazy huh!? But somehow, the people at… guess who… Onyx Green did it, with their tree-free notebooks. Yeah! Final bell! Time to go home.

OK, gotta keep up with the texting. But at the end of the day, all your new technology becomes old. And when you get new stuff, just remember, you can recycle your old stuff.
LD takes care of that stuff sustainably and securely, destroying any… questionable data with care. Cause hey. If you don’t recycle your old stuff, why should you get any new stuff?

October 24th, 2014

London Drugs and What’s the Green Deal Sponsor We Day in Vancouver, rocking out with celebs like Shawn Mendez and Marianas Trench!

we-day-stage

The lights flashed and the stadium rocked as 17,000 world-changing teens welcomed London Drugs’ COO Clint Mahlman to the Rogers Arena stage. The event was We Day Vancouver, part of an 11 city tour welcoming kids from all around North America, who have earned their tickets through helping others.
Clint-We_Day

“Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an impact,” Clint said, “I’m challenging you as leaders, to join London Drugs and become Green Heroes, and through your actions, take care of the planet… so it can take care of you.”
The cheering crowd then watched our latest What’s the Green Deal video, playing with full concert sound, showing how everyone can become Everyday Green Heroes – recycling beyond the blue box, Bringing Back the Pack and telling the world.
Twitter-ContestOur Green Deal team was also on site, encouraging people to tweet using the hashtag #LDGreenHeroes for a chance to win a London Drugs gift card.
London Drugs sponsorship was just part of a star-studded day that included appearances by Orlando Bloom, Mackelmore and Selena Gomez, and musical perfomances by Marianas Trench and Jennifer Lopez.
Created by Craig and Marc Keilberger, We Day is now recognized around the world for empowering change, and since 2007 has raised over $37 million for more than 1000 worthy causes.
It was an incredibly inspiring day, energizing our team and empowering us to spread the #LDGreenHeroes message even further.
Are YOU ready to take on the challenge and be an Everyday Green Hero? Do it now!
Because YOU are the REAL Green Deal!

 

August 22nd, 2014

GUEST POST: 3 Green Reasons to Eat More Plant-based Foods

 ‘Guest Posts’ are blog articles written by people outside London Drugs. These may be independent authors or companies who are featured in our GreenDeal Product Program. We review the content before posting and provide this space as a forum to offer information and discuss sustainability issues. So please let us know what you think!  

Photo: Romariolen - iStock

Photo: Romariolen – iStock

by VEGA – You’re already bringing reusable shopping bags to London Drugs, recycling everything under the sun and biking to work to tread lighter on the planet. But have you ever thought about the impact diet has on your carbon footprint? When you fuel your busy life with more whole, nutrient dense, plant-based foods on your plate, your carbon footprint goes down. At Vega, our passion for plant-based nutrition is as much about empowering health as it is about supporting the health of our planet. Here are three reasons to add more plant-based foods to your diet today:

  1. Plant-based foods require fewer precious resources

The consumption of plant and animal products has very different effects on the planet. While plants “breathe in” harmful carbon dioxide and release life-giving oxygen into the world, animals do the opposite. Cows not only breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, they also release methane gas—a large contributor to climate change. So in just the farming, from seed to harvest, plants take up less land, energy, water and resources than animals—and combat the emissions animals farmed for food release.

  1. Higher nutrient-to-resources ratio

Plant-based foods provide a bounty of nutrients, without taking up the resources required of animal foods. Take a look at your standard Canadian breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausage links, a slice of toast, and hash browns requires 824 g of CO2 emissions. A plant-based smoothie made with ¼ cup of blueberries, ½ a banana, 1 cup of hemp milk and a scoop of Vega One emits only 155 g CO2 emissions. Choosing to start your day with a smoothie isn’t only nutrient dense, but it also lowers your carbon footprint.

  1. Plant-based Foods are good for your health

You need to stay healthy to save the environment. Besides requiring fewer resources, plant-based foods are more nutrient dense than many other foods found in a typical diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts all provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, with relatively low calorie counts. Adding more plant-based foods to your diet can help your health—those who eat mainly plant-based tend to have lower BMIs and less risk of cardiovascular disease.1

Start with small changes

VEGA-ONEOne of the easiest ways to reduce your food-related emissions is to add in more plant-based meals. Focusing on plant-based foods means less CO2 emissions, water and energy consumption. Don’t worry–this isn’t an all-or-nothing type of situation. Even if you’re not eating 100% plant-based, every plant-based food choice makes a difference. Why not start first thing in the morning? Blend fresh and frozen fruit, non-dairy milk, nuts, seeds and Vega One to start your day with fewer carbon emissions.

Even better, as you reach for a scoop of Vega One, you’ll notice that our bottles are now made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic—saving 278 tons of CO 2 or 63% less CO greenhouse gas than virgin plastic per year.

October 21st, 2013

London Drugs Issues Waste Reduction Week Challenge: Calling all Canadians to join the waste reduction movement!

We are issuing a series of challenges during Waste Reduction Week in an effort to help Canadians work together toward ecological sustainability by conserving resources and curbing wasteful practices.

Challenge #1 (Monday, October 21): Take Recycling Beyond the Blue Box
Most people already make it part of their routine to sort their plastics, cardboard, glass and cans into their blue boxes. We challenge you to think beyond the blue box and recycle other waste including Styrofoam, candy wrappers, plastic packaging and mixed packaging. London Drugs’ Bring Back the Pack program accepts packaging that can’t be recycled through the blue bin program. Over 187,000 pounds of Styrofoam has already been diverted from landfills.

Challenge #2 (Tuesday, October 22): Reduce E-Waste
Staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest in electronics is important these days, but when you upgrade your cell phone or computer, what do you do with the old one? Throwing your electronics in the garbage can have damaging effects on the environment due to levels of lead, mercury, chromium and arsenic, which are toxic to humans and wildlife. With 140,000 tonnes of e-waste dumped into our landfills annually, there’s reason for concern. Cell phones can easily be recycled through the national Recycle My Cell program, or you can bring them into any London Drugs location. Programs like Free Geek will take any computers, monitors, or laptops and they distribute working computers volunteers and other non-profits, so you’ll have two reasons to feel good about recycling your old laptop!

BRITA-filter-recycling-London-DrugsChallenge #3 (Wednesday, October 23 rd): Divert and Reduce Beverage Container Waste
Beverage container waste is a problem that is not only affecting our landfills, but is clogging up our oceans with debris that is lethal to marine life. Floating along the North Pacific, a ‘Trash Vortex’ the size of Texas carries plastic waste in and among marine ecosystems, where animals may get caught in plastic rings and bottles, or ingest plastic pieces as they break down. You can prevent this harmful waste by switching to green options which avoid the use of excessive amounts of plastic or aluminum. Just one Brita Water Pitcher Filter can replace as many as 300 standard water bottles (and you can recycle the filters too)! If you’re looking for carbonated beverages, try switching to Soda Stream , which allows you to make everything from carbonated water to your favourite soft drinks…without the can or bottle waste.

wtgd_poster_lo-resChallenge #4 (Thursday, October 24th): Make greener purchase decisions
You want to make greener choices, but sometimes you just need some help making them! The next time you’re in London Drugs, see if you can spot ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ signs in the aisles. These will help you find products that have real environmental benefits, from recycled content, to certified organic production, and many other eco-attributes. You’ll find the signs on all kinds of items, like paper yard waste bags, which are made from raw materials that are biodegradable. Look for them and find out how you could be shopping a little greener.

Challenge #5 (Friday, October 24th):Be #WasteWise365
Being waste wise isn’t just something you do for one week; it’s something that should be part of your lifestyle, 365 days of the year! We want to know how you plan to help reduce waste year-round. After all, these simple little things can make a big impact over the course of a whole year.

Share with us on Twitter or Facebook using #WasteWise365 for your chance to win a $300 London Drugs gift card so you can start shopping a little greener and save some green too! Good luck to all of you; we look forward to seeing how you are starting a waste wise and sustainable lifestyle!

February 28th, 2013

What’s the Green Deal with half-empty medication bottles?

Photo: L.Craig

Photo: L.Craig

We occasionally get email from customers who are puzzled at the extra space in their bottle of London Drugs medications. This is one of those situations where the most effective environmental choice comes up against practicality in a calculation that can be a bit more complex than it first appears.

London Drugs buyers need to source packaging for a very wide range of medication quantities and sizes. But, as you can imagine, finding, ordering, packaging and shipping a wide array of bottle sizes drives up time and cost through the whole process. From an environmental perspective, it can also be more energy-efficient at the factory to produce fewer sizes of bottles, once set-up, start-up and shipping/packing materials are considered for each run. As well, for examples like the Melatonin pictured above, a bottle small enough to hold those 60 tablets snugly would not be big enough to display all of the ingredients and information – in both official languages.

So in order to keep our prices low, our team made the choice to go with three or four basic bottle sizes instead of over 30 bottle sizes. Which means that, unfortunately, for some products, there may be more air than we would like. It isn’t a perfect solution, and we will continue to work to find solutions that balance all the factors as best we can.

We do specify a readily recyclable #1PETE plastic for our bottles, and all medicine containers returned to our stores are recycled. So whatever their size, please Bring Back the Pack.

If you want to make a real environmental difference, please don’t forget to return unused medications. Flushing them down the toilet does not really get rid of them, as our waste treatment systems are not designed to break down these complex compounds. As a result, fish stocks can be adversely affected. (Read more on our blog here)

In the meantime, we do appreciate customers keeping the pressure on for us to do better. And we will keep working from our end to  monitor our bottling system and choices.

September 5th, 2012

Cosmetic packaging – another recycling first for London Drugs

LondonDrug-cosmetics-recycling

As of September 4, 2012, you can take some more items off your non-recyclable list and out of your garbage. Separate bins will be available at all London Drugs stores for collection of beauty packaging , through a partnership with Garnier and TerraCycle – an international upcycling company.

(UPDATE – 2014: This Garnier/Terracycle recycling program is no longer available t London Drugs, but any packaging purchased from London Drugs can be brought back to our stores for recycling as part of our ‘Bring Back the Pack’ program)

It’s an interesting solution for some difficult materials. Cosmetics packages, in particular, pose challenges with multiple materials, residual cosmetics waste etc. TerraCycle tells me their downstream processor, based in the US, has solved these issues and is able to melt down the collected materials and produce products such as park benches, garbage containers and soap dispensers.

“London Drugs is excited to partner with TerraCycle and become the first major retailer in Canada to offer our customers these new recycling streams” says Clint Mahlman, Senior Vice President and Cheif Operating Officer, London Drugs. “This is an important solution as we move toward our company-wide waste diversion goal.”

So save up  those old makeup containers you have been collecting and head on down to London Drugs. Look for the drop-off boxes, or just ask at Customer Service.

This is one Green Deal that is looking better and better.

March 26th, 2012

London Drugs recognized as one of Canada’s greenest retailers at Globe 2012


The Globe Foundation helps companies worldwide make the business case for green. Every two years they hold an internationally acclaimed conference in Vancouver, where they also hand out awards for Environmental Excellence. This year, London Drugs was pleased to be named a finalist in the Greenest Retailing Practices category, alongside retail giants Sears and Canadian Tire.

Canadian Tire was the eventual winner, and although London Drugs did not take home the first-place hardware, we were proud that the hard work of our employees, suppliers and customers was recognized.

Ultimately, we all benefit from companies who do their part to make a difference, so we applaud all winners in the 7 GLOBE Awards categories:

  • The Award for Corporate Environmental Excellence – Unilever Canada
  • The Award for Excellence in Emerging Technology – Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc.
  • The Award for Technology Innovation & Application – Pulse Energy
  • The Award for Excellence in Urban Sustainability – Waterfront Toronto/Halsall Associates
  • The Award for Sustainability in Finance – Royal Bank of Canada
  • The Award for Best Green Retailing Practices- Canadian Tire Corp.
  • The Next Gen Entrepreneur Award – Eden Full, Roseicollis Technologies

September 21st, 2011

Method develops new recycled bottle from plastic ocean litter.

At London Drugs, we think Method is the real Green Deal, and here’s one more reason why. They have now created a new recycled bottle made in part from waste plastic from the sea.

The “Ocean Bottle” was introduced September 15th in San Francisco by Method founders Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan. It is made from 100 percent high-density polyethylene plastic, 25 percent of which has been recovered from the ocean. This ‘ocean plastic’ is a significant problem, especially in an area called the North Pacific Gyre, a slow swirling current zone where marine plastic goes to die. According to some estimates, the amount of plastic collected in the Gyre is twice the size of Texas.

The Method company is well known for their work in green chemistry, water management and resource-conscious packaging. Nearly all Method bottles are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. But not even Method could clean up the whole North Pacific Gyre and its mega-tons of plastic trash. In fact, according to Lowry, most of the sea-waste for the method bottles will come from more local sources.
“There are a number of beach cleanup organizations that work here in California and Hawaii that are regularly cleaning up this plastic [as it washes ashore from the North Pacific Gyre and its Great Pacific Garbage Patch]. Our model is to intercept that plastic and divert the portion that we can use to our recycler in Southern California.”

The main goal, says Lowry, is to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Judging from the fact that San Fransisco’s Mayor declared September 15th 2011 ‘Official Method Day’, it seems to be working. Find out more from the official GreenBiz.com article here.

We’re not sure which Method product(s) the Ocean Bottle will ultimately be used for, but Green Deal will keep you posted, so stay tuned.

Photo by Leslie Guevarra, GreenBiz.com
Lisa P. Jackson of the EPA, Adam Lowry of Method and Karen Mills of the SBA. The ocean bottle is on the left.