April 28th, 2017

Introducing Sugar Sheet forest-free paper made with 100% sugar cane waste – it’s the next best thing to not printing at all!

Sugar Sheet Forest Free Paper

All around the world, forests are under pressure from development and harvesting. Recycled paper is a good solution, but what if paper could be made without using any trees at all? Sugar Sheet paper is made from the waste fibre generated from sugar cane processing. The paper is bright white, high quality, elemental chlorine free and completely recyclable. (And of course, it’s available at London Drugs!)

Sugar Sheet is suitable for use in inkjet printers, laser printers, copiers and even high quality offset printing presses. Best of all, the price is competitive with other high quality and recycled paper options.

By the numbers, Sugar Sheet is a more sustainable choice.

Sugar Sheet is produced for Social Print Paper Ltd., a Canadian company based in New Westminster BC whose goal is to minimize dependency on global forests to make paper. The paper is made in Columbia from a material that would otherwise be discarded or simply plowed back into the ground, so it does not have any adverse effects on food production.

Life Cycle Assessment for Sugar Sheet Tree Free PaperTo better understand its footprint, Social Print has produced a Life Cycle Assessment on Sugar Sheet paper, comparing GHG emissions and tree savings vs regular and recycled paper options. Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Sugar Sheet are 29% lower than even 100% recycled content paper, and 1 tonne of Sugar Sheet saves 26 trees compared to the baseline (0% recycled uncoated freesheet)

So if you want to print AND save trees at the same time, your sweetest paper choice is Sugar Sheet.

April 22nd, 2017

Recycling Over Lunch at CanWel Building Materials Vancouver

The London Drugs What’s the Green Deal team was proud to be invited to speak at a local Lunch & Learn event focused on recycling, held in the National Office of Canwel Building Materials. The event started with a presentation on office recycling by Cascades Recovery, designed to increase knowledge and diversion rates. (Cascades is also a major London Drugs Recycling Partner) Green Deal blogger Lorne Craig then talked with the group about home recycling, showcasing all the recyclables listed on the greendeal.ca website that can be taken back to any London Drugs store.
Then participants broke into teams and faced the Waste Sorting Challenge, diverting a select batch of ‘trash’ into the appropriate streams within a two minute deadline.
Everyone was a winner, as all attendees left with a London Drugs Big Green RecycleBag for their efforts. Not to mention a fresh appreciation for the possibilities of home and office recycling.
Way to go Team CanWel! YOU are the REAL Green Deal!

Office Recycling

July 5th, 2016

Paper? Plastic? Reusable? The Great Bag Debate

London Drugs Shopping Bag Debate Graphic

Links:

Washington Post Article
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2007/10/03/GR2007100301385.html?referrer=emaillink

Paper Bags Article – http://life.gaiam.com/article/plastic-bags-get-boot-paper-any-better

Wikipedia Lightweight Plastic Bag Article –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_lightweight_plastic_bags

All about bags article http://www.allaboutbags.ca/irelandandlitter.html

 National Post Poll page – http://news.nationalpost.com/news/more-than-half-of-canadians-think-banning-sale-of-plastic-bags-a-good-idea-poll

Lifecycle Assessment Bag Comparison Chart

Bag Comparison Chart

 

Canadians use between nine- and 15-billion plastic bags a year, enough to circle the Earth more than 55 times. These lightweight plastic bags can have negative effects on cities, animals and ecosystems. But finding the best solution may not be as simple as it appears.

The Contenders

Lightweight Plastic (LDPE)

(Thumbs Up)
Cheapest to manufacture
Easy to re-use for kitchen or pet waste
Easy to Recycle (Downcycle)

(Thumbs Down)
Made with non-renewable resource (oil)
Improper disposal can have major environmental effects
Non biodegradable

Paper

(Thumbs Up)
Made with renewable resources
Biodegradable

(Thumbs Down)
Contributes to deforestation
Requires more water & energy to manufacture
Has a greater emissions footprint

Reusable

(Thumbs Up)
Can replace hundreds of single use bags
Can be recyclable (#5 PP) or biodegradable (cotton & canvas)

(Thumbs Down)
Most expensive
Need to be cleaned regularly
Easy to forget!
The HOT issues

Resources: Plastic and many reusable bags are made from non-renewable oil, (an estimated 12 million barrels in North America alone) using processes that require toxic chemicals. On the other hand, some 14 million trees are cut down each year to make paper bags* and the manufacture of pulp uses large amounts of water and energy.

Pollution: Though they are recyclable, most plastic bags end up in the landfill or the environment, where they can clog waterways and sewers, and kill animals that ingest them. Plastic bags break down, but they never biodegrade. As a result, any toxins they contain—including flame retardants, antimicrobials, and plasticizers—will be released into the environment.

Recycling: Paper, plastic and reusable bags can all be recycled or downcycled, but recycling rates remain low.

Cleanliness: Single-use bags can provide a more sanitary carrier for items like meats and vegetables. Reusable bags need to be properly cleaned regularly to avoid unwanted microbial build-up.

Security and Privacy: Some shops in areas with plastic bag bans report increased shoplifting when customers use reusable bags or just carry items around. Single-use bags also allow services like pharmacies to offer more privacy to their customers for their purchases.

Solutions

BAN the bag?
Lightweight Plastic Bag Bans are one solution that is being implemented in numerous cities and countries around the globe. Here is a partial list:***

Bangladesh – Country-wide ban, 2002
Eritrea – Country-wide ban, 2007
Kenya – Country-wide ban, 2011
Mauritania – Country-wide ban, 2013
Tanzania – Country-wide ban, 2006
China – Total ban on ultra thin plastic bags and a fee on plastic bags, 2008
Netherlands – Comprehensive Ban 2016
Australia – Three states and some cities have bans
Italy – Ban on lightweight bags that are not biodegradable
California – Local bans in 31 cities and 11 counties including San Francisco and Los Angeles
15 Other US states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington and Texas, have various levels of city and county bans

Can a fee backfire?

Many people use single-use plastic bags for multiple uses, such as lunch bags, kitchen catchers, and picking up after dogs. When Ireland implemented their tax, sales of thicker kitchen catcher bags increased +77%****

What do YOU think?
Canadian public opinion varies.
It’s a good idea to forbid retail stores from handing out single use plastic bags:
YES – 59% NO – 39%
Stores should charge a fee for plastic bags
YES – 53% NO – 46%
Angus Reid Poll 2012*****

What’s London Drugs doing?
London Drugs has debated, researched and talked about the use of plastic bags over the years and we continue to regularly discuss the use of plastic bags in our stores. in the meantime, we offer reusable bags and easy plastic bag recycling.

Would you like a bag with that?
We are currently in the process of implementing a process in our stores where our staff ask if customers would like a bag instead of automatically using a plastic bag, and at the same time suggesting a reusable option.
What about biodegradable plastic?
London Drugs has used and experimented with degradable bags or compostable bags and have found these to contaminate the recycling stream and create bigger problems for the environment.

We have made a commitment to reduce the number of bags being given out and have seen a 50% decline from previous years. We are always on the lookout for better options and we always take into consideration the impact of our decisions.

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?

July 30th, 2015

Lethbridge store recycles with the best of them in London Drugs Waste Audit

Every year, we visit every single London Drugs store to dig through their trash. But it goes deeper than that. The Waste Audit is part of a continuous process of improvement that looks at the recycling output of each department in the store, and helps make suggestions on how things can be tweaked to keep every last gram of recycling out of the landfill.

Retail Operations Sustainability Specialist Maury McCausland recently visited our Lethbridge London Drugs store, and found that their waste diversion rate is going strong. We captured the Waste Audit process on video, as Lethbridge store Manager Chris Mabie was on hand to help wrangle the bags and pick up on improvements his team can still make.

Let’s raise a bag of recycling and toast the Lethbridge team – you are the real Green Deal!

July 21st, 2014

How BC’s new Multi Material Recycling Program works (and why it matters even if you DON’T live in BC!)

On May 19th, 2014, an ambitious new recycling stewardship program was launched in BC, intended to deal with paper and packaging waste, but incorporating a whole lot more. Traditionally, municipalities were responsible for collecting recycling through taxpayer-funded pickup services, then sold the materials to recover costs.

Now, in participating municipalities province-wide, Multi Material BC will be in charge of collecting, processing and selling materials from Blue Box recycling programs.

So how does the funding work? Who processes the waste and where does the money go? We have designed the info graphic below to help answer some of those questions.

Print
MMBC is not without its critics. Many maintain that there was not enough consultation with business before implementation, and that it does not reward stewards or manufacturers who go above and beyond in recycling behaviour or recyclable design.

The province of BC has been a leader in implementing such Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs, and we now have 18 similar industry-funded solutions for everything from tires to lights, used oil, batteries and smoke alarms. Other provinces are watching, so stay tuned and see how MMBC evolves.

We’ll be watching to help make sure it’s the REAL Green Deal!

In the meantime, for London Drugs customers, in BC and elsewhere, we are continuing our in-store recycling services, including our industry-leading Bring back the Pack Program.

December 13th, 2013

Give the present, not the packaging.

bring-back-the-pack-present-sm

There is something classically fun about wallowing in wrapping and boxes on Christmas morning as the kids tear into their pile of loot. But when product packaging, plastic and Styrofoam are added to the mix, it creates a seasonal garbage glut for municipalities and a trash hassle for Mom and Dad.

For years, London Drugs has offered Bring Back the Pack – our packaging take-back program for anything you buy at our stores. That’s right, just drop off your packaging at customer service as you leave the store, or bring it back later with your receipt.

So why not pass that gift of less packaging forward? If you shop at London Drugs and include a gift receipt with your presents, your giftees can reduce their trash footprint as well.
Think of it as a gift that keeps on giving.

If you like this idea, please share it… we want to help create a holiday season with more happiness and less waste.

May 28th, 2013

More FSC Certifications for our office papers means you can print with forests in mind.

FSC-papers

A recent press release from HP makes it official that their HP office papers are now FSC certified. Our Hammermill brands and Domtar EarthChoice papers also bear the FSC logo, meaning that you can now feel confident that office paper you buy at London Drugs has come from well-managed forests.

The Forest Stewardship Council has a reputation as one of the most rigorous and credible independent certification standards available. Fibre from certified forests is tracked all the way to the consumer through the FSC Chain of Custody system.

FSC Certification also applies to wood and other paper products. Find out a bit more about FSC Certification in our London Drugs photo envelopes, Garant shovels and Hilroy Biodegradable Bubble Envelopes.

Post-consumer recycled paper content helps save even more trees, and the greenest office paper of all is the one you don’t print. So choose both your papers and the projects you decide to print with care.

March 26th, 2013

Where does London Drugs recycling go?

Circuit boards can contain gold and other precious metals – Photo: L. Craig

For most of our customers, once their recycling is dropped off, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But for London Drugs, the recycling bin is just the beginning of the process.
We do our homework, choosing recyclers who know where your materials go and what happens to them. This is especially important when it comes to electronics, which can contain some pretty hazardous materials.
So here are some quick notes on what goes where when you bring it to our big Blue Box.

Electronics – TV’s, computers, VCR’s, printers and other electronics are shipped to either GEEP (Alberta, Sask. & Man.) or E-Cycle  where they are separated into components such as plastic, glass, circuit boards, tubes, and various metals. Non-toxic materials are sorted and bundled for sale as commodities for remanufacture. Both GEEP and E-Cycle are certified through ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004.
Circuit boards and TV tubes are sent to smelters where they are safely melted down and their precious metals recovered.
NO London Drugs electronics for recycling are shipped offshore unprocessed.

GEN-diss-line

An Electronics Disassembly Line  – Photo: L.Craig

Small Appliances – As with electronics, all our small appliances are disassembled in Canada and separated into commodities.

Cell Phones and Batteries – These items are handled through the Call-2-Recycle program, the only free used battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Cellphones are recycled, refurbished and/or resold. When resold, a portion of the proceeds are donated to select charities. None of the broken down material makes its way into landfills. Batteries are processed at North American facilities, in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Pennsylvania, for recovery of cadmium and lithium.

L5140504

Recycled Paper returns to London Drugs as products.

Paper and CardboardCascades Recovery is our partner for recycling paper and cardboard. It is sorted and bundled up at their Surrey facility and sent to Canadian mills for remanufacture into paper products. Some of our recycled cardboard even makes its way back on to store shelves as recycled toilet tissue!

Soft Plastics, Bottles and Medication Containers – These are also collected by Cascades Recovery and sent to Orbis or Merlin Plastics in Delta, BC.

Styrofoam™ – All expanded polystyrene from London Drugs packaging that customers return is sent to Foam Only in Coquitlam, BC where it is compressed for remanufacture as polystyrene. This is a process that uses no heat and releases no toxins.

Light Bulbs, CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes – Compact Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so they must be handled with care. All of our light products are recycled through the LightRecycle program, managed by ProductCare. Bulbs are crushed in a controlled environment, so all toxins are filtered out and recovered.

As you can see, recycling is a complex science that goes well beyond the Blue Box. By working with top suppliers, we are doing our best to ensure we are part of the solution, not creating new problems down the line. If you want to know more, follow us on Twitter @WTGreenDeal, or comment below. We’re happy to talk more recycling with you.

March 2nd, 2012

London Drugs store diverts 89% of waste from landfill with Cascades Recovery, and helps close the recycling loop.

Every London Drugs store recycles as much as possible – cardboard, plastic wrap, cans & bottles, etc – along with all the materials our customers bring in, but London Drugs store #9 in Guildford, Surrey, has pushed its recycling to new heights.

Cascades Recovery has developed a handy sorting system that lets our stores more efficiently handle plastics, containers and cardboard to maximize recovery rates. In a recent pilot project, we tracked recovery of waste from four of our stores. They all increased their diversion rate, but Guildford was the hero of the day.

“It’s a great program”, says London Drugs administrator of retail operations Maury McCausland. “Our employees separate recyclables at the store into colour coded bags so separation is easy once the materials get to the plant. This sort of program will help us achieve our target rate of 95% waste diversion from all of our stores by 2015.”

Cascades Recovery offers another green connection as well. They are part of the Cascades Specialty Products Group, manufacturers of the Cascades line of recycled paper products, including bathroom tissue and paper towels sold at London Drugs.

“This means that when a customer brings back cardboard packaging to London Drugs for recycling, they could eventually be buying paper products from us that contain some of that same material.” McCausland continues. “That’s pretty exciting.”

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