October 18th, 2017

One small fee for a bag. One giant leap to reduce waste.

Adobe Stock

Canadians use up to 15 BILLION plastic bags every year* – enough to go around the world 55 times. That’s a lot of plastic, with the potential to negatively affect our environment, waterways and wildlife. Since 2006, London Drugs has reduced bag use by about 60%, through education and bag alternatives. But now it’s time to take the next step. Starting Jan1, 2018, we are introducing a 5¢ plastic bag reduction fee.

5¢ plastic bag fee at London DrugsWhy a fee? Because fees work to reduce bag use.
Although many may be unhappy to see a per-bag charge at their favourite stores, the results can be huge. When the UK started charging for bags, Wales and Ireland saw a 75% – 90% DECREASE in single-use plastic bags.** We think Canadians are ready to do just as well, or better. Research shows 53 per cent of Canadians feel stores should charge a fee for plastic bags.***

Do we charge for every bag?
Regular plastic bags are the majority of bags we hand out. So our fee is focused on reducing their use. Specialty bags in the cosmetic and pharmacy departments are not affected.

Where does the money go?
Our plastic bag reduction fee goes to cover bag costs, and to help support our What’s the Green Deal recycling programs. Since 2008, we have been steadily growing our in-store recycling services to take back more items than any other retailer in our category. (Around 11 Million pounds a year!) Proceeds from bag fees will help us grow our Green Deal programs even further and keep recycling free for our customers.

Small steps taken together make a big difference.
So bring your reusable bag, or bring a nickel. Then bring all your soft plastics back to London Drugs for recycling. With millions of Canadians shopping every day, if we each used even ONE less bag, that would save a LOT of plastic waste.

*Source: Greener Footprints Society http://www.greenerfootprints.com/plastic-bag-facts/
**Source: Article – The Telegraph, October 2015 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11912052/Plastic-bag-charge-the-unintended-consequences-of-the-5p-deterrent.html
***Source: Angus Reid Poll, Canada, 2012 http://angusreidglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012.06.13_Bags_CAN.pdf

March 29th, 2016

From your junk drawer to Zero Waste, our Green Deal sustainability story has it all!

London Drugs Green Deal Sustainability Overview Earth Month 2016

Once upon a time…

There was a lonely flip phone. One of millions of discarded recyclables looking for a better place to call home. Fortunately, London Drugs was launching a program to make recycling as easy as a trip to the store.  The year was 2008 Here’s our story.

The London Drugs philosophy is to support the communities we serve. Years before 2008, our stores had offered recycling, our photo labs treated their water and our operations reduced their impacts. But it was time to take our sustainability journey further.
What’sthe Green Deal? began as a question, because we always want to seek better sustainability answers.

Our 4 Pillar Strategy:

1. WASTE REDUCTION – Over 93% Of all store waste is diverted from landfill by our employees.

2. ENERGY & OPERATIONS – Better warehouse design & lighting, biodiesel in our trucks and more.

3. UPSTREAM BUYING – Our  Responsible Purchasing Policy helps show vendors exactly what we expect when it comes to their supply chain standards.

4. EDUCATION & COMMUNICATION – Our outreach events, sponsorships, Twitter feed @WTGreenDeal and our greendeal.ca website & blog help share greener living tips with the whole community.

What can customers recycle at London Drugs?

  • Electronics
  • Small Appliances
  • Packaging from our products including Styrofoam
  • Plastic Bags
  • Insurance Plastic Folders
  • Alkaline Batteries
  • Cell Phones
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs & Fluorescent Light Tubes (up to 48”)
  • Disposable Cameras
  • Ink jet Cartridges
  • Laser Cartridges
  • Metal Film Canisters

WHERE does our recycling go?

  • Global Electric Electronic 
Processing (GEEP)
  • e-Cycle
  • FOAM ONLY
  • Cascades Recovery
  • Call2Recycle
  • Light Recycle
  • Various Recycling Partners

Responsible Recycling

Our recycling partners are certified and reviewed to ensure no unprocessed material is sent to substandard offshore facilities
London Drugs will take back all of your packaging from our products. 
Including the Styrofoam!

Don’t dump drugs!
 Our pharmacists take back all unused or expired medications, so they don’t pollute lands and waters.

Thanks to our customers and employees, our average yearly recycling totals over 11 MILLION lbs !

For those who like to shop a little greener… We identify Green Deal products with environmental benefits at the shelf and online.

The Zero Waste QUESTION – Can we create NEW products from  the ‘waste’  material streams that come from our recycling?

We already have one closed-loop product on our shelves. Cascades recycled paper products are made from cardboard and paper partially sourced from our waste recycling streams. And we’re still looking for even more ways to get to Zero Waste.

LEARN MORE Visit our website for blogs, videos articles, and products that help you live a little greener.  greendeal.ca

The story continues…

September 13th, 2015

Onyx+Green – a Canadian company making school and office supplies more sustainable.

Onyx+Green sustainab;le back-to-school supplies

One bamboo writing instrument may not seem like a big green deal, but consider this: According to the EPA, Americans throw away 1.6 billion disposable pens every year. (Yes, BILLION!) That’s a lot of waste to write off. So if you want to make a green difference you can see and touch every day, consider your school and office supplies.

Onyx+Green Recycled PensWrite with recycled pride. Onyx + Green offers pens and mechanical pencils made from from bamboo. recycled aluminum, recycled PET plastic (the kind from recycled drink bottles) and even recycled carton material.

L8817652Cut into waste with biodegradable scissors. Corn-based plastic handles and metal blades mean that these scissors won’t be around for hundreds of years in the landfill when you are done with them.

Go treeless for your notes. These Onyx + Green notepads are made from…. stone. That’s right, crushed stone is bound into smooth, white, water-resistant sheets that consume nary a single twig.

Contain it all with natural materials. Our modern fabrics contain a lot of plastic. But these styling pencil cases are 90% natural and biodegradable (made with a ramie leaf / jute plant blend fabric)

Less packaging is more better. OK, bad grammar. But by using simple paperboard designs (no bubble plastic!) and soy based inks, Onyx+Green has made it easy to keep packaging waste to a minimum. And that’s worth writing about.

The local connection. The products are made in China, but designed in Canada, and importantly, produced by a Canadian-headquartered company (Onyx+Green is a division of Onyx+Blue, a Quebec-based company) so you are supporting Canadian jobs and profits, while still getting affordable products.

If you want to add a sustainable reminder to your everyday school and office routine, take a look at the Onyx+ Green product line. It’s the write Green Deal for Back-to-School. (Sorry, that pun probably gets an F)

August 20th, 2015

London Drugs Takes Recycling Tracking to the Next Level with ReTRAC

Re-TRAC-graphic

Part of our ongoing commitment to waste reduction takes us to events like the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s annual conference, where we find out about leading technologies for helping us to make our good waste work better.

That’s how we learned about Re-TRAC, an exciting waste diversion software program that lets us track our waste numbers right down to the store level.
In early 2015, London Drugs adopted Re-TRAC Tracker as our waste diversion tracking system. Within a week of the first training session, all 78 stores and our service providers were tracking data in Re-TRAC Connect.
Now the London Drugs team can generate reports to see exactly what materials are being recycled at each store and how that contributes to our overall sustainability goals. We can compare performance across store locations, measure any trends, and monitor progress towards achieving our 95% diversion rate target.

If you want to learn more about the London Drugs Re-TRAC story, you can read our full case study on the Re-TRAC website.

And remember, you can always contribute to our waste diversion total just by recycling at London Drugs!

August 8th, 2014

What is B Corporation Certification?

B Corp Certification

If you scan the shelves for Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, Cruelty-Free or other certifications, you’ll soon start seeing a new label on the block.
Certified B Corporation is an up-and-coming standard that goes beyond the qualities of the product you hold in your hand and sets a standard for the behaviour of the company itself.
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
To qualify, companies must complete the rigorous B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points. This assessment measures everything from environmental practices and waste to labour standards and community practices. This assessment is reviewed, documentation may be required, and re-certification is required every 2 years.
There are now over 1000 B Corps in 30+ countries around the world, and the movement is growing.
Some of the great Green Deal products made by B Corps that you’ll find on London Drugs’ shelves include Method, Badger, Seventh Generation, Lunapads, Salt Spring Coffee, Ethical Bean Coffee, Manitoba Harvest, Preserve and Traditional Medicinals.
B Corporation Certification has been called “The highest standard for socially responsible business”, but their ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ says it best:
“We envision an new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit…” You can read the rest on the B Corp website.
So if you want to buy from a company that’s working to make a difference, look for the B.  It’s one corporate certification that gets an ‘A’ from the Green Deal team.

b-corp-products

May 13th, 2013

Toshiba and the environment – just how green is the company behind the product?

Toshiba-sustainability

There’s more to improving the environment than making recycled products. These days, corporations are taking a good hard look at systems, processes and policies to save money and win consumer trust.

Toshiba is not a company you might immediately associate with green. But a closer look reveals that they have been focusing on improving their environmental performance for at least 5 years.

On their Facebook page, Toshiba Innovation / Sustainability, they even go so far as to say their mission is “to establish Toshiba as one of the world’s foremost eco-companies…”

That’s a bold statement. So what are they doing to get there?  Specific goals they want to reach by 2015 include:

  • Reduce greenhouse gases 65% from 1990 levels
  • Reduce manufacturing waste 71% from 2000 levels
  • Reduce chemical emissions 77% from 2000 levels
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 15 million tons through energy savings features
  • Remove polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants from all products
  • Increase product resource savings 50%

Toshiba is also a manufacturer of hybrid electric vehicle motors, which they say will help reduce greenhouse gasses as they are integrated into mainstream transportation technology.
So if you like the idea of helping companies improve their environmental performance, do some research and buy from those that are setting ambitious goals.
Then stay tuned and help make sure they follow through.

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.

May 1st, 2012

GreenDeal Product Profile – Andalou Naturals: A good exercise in ingredient transparency.


With all the different options out there, how do you know what is best? For some it comes down to what’s inside, yet there are differing opinions on almost every ingredient out there. So it’s up to YOU to do your homework, especially if you have sensitivity to any specific chemicals or natural extracts.That’s why the issue of ingredient transparency is so important. Thankfully, it’s a lot easier with products like Andalou Naturals, because they list all of their ingredients right on their website.
Take their Lavender Shea Body Butter for example. With a bit of clicking around on the Andalou site, you are able to access a complete list of ingredients for this product, including indications of which are organic and fair trade.

Also note that none of the ingredients are listed simply as ‘fragrance’ or ‘color’ – catch-all terms some manufacturers use to avoid disclosing proprietary formulas. (Helpful for their patent protection perhaps, but not useful if you are on the lookout for any particular ingredients that concern you)
So if you want to know more about what’s in the things that go on you, you may want to support companies like Andalou, and/or encourage your favourite brands to follow their example.

Not everyone wants to go on an ingredient treasure hunt, but we all benefit when manufacturers put transparency first.

And that’s the clear Green Deal.