Maybe it was the spring cleaning feeling in the air, or the excitement of Earth Day, but whatever the reason, the citizens of Nanaimo came out in force to support the London Drugs Recycling Tour on April 21st.
“It was a spectacular turnout,” Says London Drugs Retail Sustainability Specialist Maury McCausland, “We received 5 big cages full of electronics, 8 skids of Styrofoam and 10 skids of soft plastic. ”That’s all good, usable material that may otherwise have ended up in regional landfills, so it’s a win-win when it gets recycled right.”
Thanks to everyone who came out! If you want to gather up your own recycling, the Recycling Tour continues throughout the spring and summer with events in Courtenay, Campbell River, Squamish, Gibsons, Richmond, Surrey, Airdrie, Burnaby, Calgary and Lethbridge.
It was a sunny spring day in the atrium of the Woodward’s building on Abbott street, where long tables were set up with flowers, linens and settings for the PHS Community Services Pancake Breakfast. Assistant store manager Robert Rogers and Green Deal blogger Lorne Craig were on hand to welcome the crowd, spread the word about London Drugs’ recycling and accept items as part of our 2018 Recycling Tour series. People brought in computers, light bulbs and more.
“It’s a great location for a wonderful community event,” said Craig, “And even some of the more dedicated recyclers were surprised at some of the things we take back. So it’s always good to connect.”
The Recycling Tour continues throughout the spring and summer with events in Courtenay, Campbell River, Squamish, Gibsons, Richmond, Surrey, Airdrie, Burnaby, Calgary and Lethbridge.
On Wednesday April 18, London Drugs and Save-On-Foods teamed up with Recycle BC to launch the #BringYourBag Challenge.
Take the one-week #BringYourBag challenge at RecycleBC.ca/BringYourBag, and see if you can go one week without using a single-use bag. Sign up, engage on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and you can enter to win a pair of Vancouver Whitecaps FC tickets.
Maury McCausland, London Drugs Retail Sustainability Specialist,was on hand for the launch. “We started charging a bag reduction fee in January 2018 and have reduced our bag use at London Drugs stores considerably as a result,” says McCausland. “We are happy to do our part to help reduce plastic bag use even further.”
Over two million plastic bags are thrown in the garbage every week in the City of Vancouver alone, and Canadians use between nine and 15 billion plastic bags every year.
“We all need to work together to reduce the use of single-use bags,” said Allen Langdon, Managing Director of Recycle BC. “By sharing a common goal, and through a combination of incentives and education, we’re encouraging positive behaviour change to keep plastic bags out of our landfills and oceans.”
2017 marks our 10th year of tracking our recycling by store, diversion rate and materials. So here are some of the highlights from the year and the decade. It’s a record of which all our employees and recycling customers can be extremely proud.
So how much IS 113 million pounds?
The weight of 50 Olympic Sized Swimming Pools 1 or Enough to fill a 12 kilometer freight train 2 or Two full container ships3
Any way you look at it, it’s a lot! So what did that decade of recycling include?
492,000lbs of styrofoam
714,000 lbs of batteries
870,000 lbs of computers
All recycled responsibly, thanks to our recycling customers, hard-working employees and recycling partners – you are the REAL Green Deal!
Awards and recognition over the past 10 years:
2008 Recycling Council of BC Private Sector Recognition Award
2010 Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Corporate Leadership Award
2011 Recycling Council of Alberta Corporate Leadership Award
Average London Drugs waste diversion rate, all stores and warehouse: 93.9% +1.1% over 2016 Diversion Rate
We continue to work with individual stores to improve recycling, and find solutions for new materials, such as wooden pallets, which we now recycle. Our top stores go above and beyond, sorting their garbage, and have been able to completely remove their bulk waste bins. More than half of London Drugs stores are over our goal of 95% diversion. Best single London Drugs store recycling – St. Albert Alberta, with a 99.97% waste diversion rate!
In 2017 we recycled:
3711 lbs of cell phones – That’s about the weight of a fully grown White Rhino, and an increase of 32% over 2016 42,155 lbs of fluorescent lights – Keeping dangerous toxins like mercury out of our landfills – a 9% increase over 2016 Recycling Partner LightRecycle 122,780 lbs of batteries – Thats weight equivalent to 2.3 MILLION AA size batteries, and a 5% increase over 2016 Recycling Partner: Call2Recycle 370,751 lbs of computers and electronics – That’s equivalent to about 5300 old style 27” TVs, and a 10,000 lb increase over 2016
ONE LESS BAG Since 2006 we have been reducing plastic bag use through education and reusable alternatives. In 2018 we introduced a 5¢ Bag Reduction Fee to help reduce bag use even further.
We share this success with customers who bring recycling to our stores, employees who track every piece of waste and anyone who brings back their packaging to their local London Drugs. Together we can make a real difference in waste reduction.
1 The weight of an Olympic swimming pool, filled waist deep, is estimated at 220,000lbs Austin Bugden, Engineering Technologist https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-visualise-a-1-million-kg-What-on-Earth-is-this-heavy 2 Average weight of freight in a Canadian rail car: 83.5 tons https://www.railcan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Rail_Trends_2016.pdf Based on average of 88 60-foot freight cars per mile https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100209154253AALKlg4 113,000,000 lbs / 167,0000 lbs per car / 88 cars per mile x 1.6 = a freight train of approximately 12.3 km 3 Because of the wide variety of cargo, there is no ‘average‘ freighter ship. But Ed Enos, State & USCG licensed Harbor Pilot, estimated that if a 700-foot ship carries 1000 containers, each holding 25 tons of goods, the payload for one such vessel would be 25000 tons, or 50,000,000 pounds. https://www.quora.com/Approximately-how-many-tons-can-the-average-large-cargo-ship-carry
When you see a computer, monitor, printer, or even a mouse pad, you may not immediately think to ask about toxic ingredients. But the London Drugs technology buyers do. That’s because the manufacturing high tech lifestyle products can include the use of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and other ingredients of concern.
So when it comes to ordering components and products for London Drugs’ Certified Data, Tree Frog and other in-house brands, merchandise Manager Cedric Tetzel has made it a priority to go above and beyond Canadian standards for toxic materials. When ordering from Asian factories, Cedric and his team demand products be made to the European standards of RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) or REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). They have also worked hard to minimize packaging and replace non-recyclable PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) with 100% recyclable PET plastic.
“The result is not just cleaner products and packaging,” says Cedric, “But the factories that produce to RoHS and REACH standards usually deliver higher quality products as well.”
Thanks for setting a higher standard and looking out for toxic materials, Cedric. You are the REAL Green Deal!
Choirs were singing and civic dignitaries were shaking hands as on February 8th, The City of Vancouver recognized citizens and organizations who made a difference for 2018. London Drugs’ eleven Vancouver stores took home the award for Greenest City Leadership in the organization category, for helping citizens recycle everything from batteries to light bulbs to small appliances, and helping Vancouver reach its Greenest City goals.
One and a half million reasons.
The Vancouver stores alone diverted over ONE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS of waste from landfill in 2017, including e-waste, batteries, light bulbs, ink cartridges and other recyclables that can contain toxic materials. Our teams were also recognized for promoting local products, recycling in our warehouse and networking to promote sustainability with vendors and government.
This award belongs to all of us. And YOU.
Dave Woogman, Manager of the London Drugs at Broadway & Cambie in Vancouver, accepted the award, but we share it with all London Drugs employees who do such a great job of sorting and diverting waste throughout our organization. We also recognize our customers who recycle more and more every year. And the leadership of London Drugs deserves credit for going above and beyond regulations to demonstrate true leadership in the retail category. This is the second major civic award for What’s the Green Deal this season, as our Surrey stores took home a 2017 Greenest City award in that city in December. We were in some amazing company, as citizens received awards for diversity, accessibility, health and civic volunteering. Congratulations to all winners at the City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence. You are the REAL Green Deal.
Posted by Lorne Craig at February 12, 2018 8:29 am
Now, when you come to London Drugs, bring your bags – or bring your nickels. Canadians use up to 15 BILLION plastic bags every year.(1) That’s a lot of potential to negatively affect our environment, waterways and wildlife. Together, we can do better.
Why a fee? Because fees work to reduce bag waste. When the UK started charging for bags, Wales and Ireland saw a 75% – 90% DECREASE in single-use plastic bags.(2) Research also shows 53 per cent of Canadians feel stores should charge a fee for plastic bags.(3)
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. We take back more items for recycling 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 and keep recycling free for our customers.
Remember, you can also recycle plastic bags and other soft plastics, right at your local London Drugs store. When you do have plastic bags to get rid of, bring them to us. With millions of Canadians shopping every day, if we each used even ONE less bag, (and recycled the rest) that would save a LOT of plastic waste.
Some New Years resolutions fall by the wayside before noon on January first. But these nine #RecyclingResolutions are as easy to keep as dropping by your local London Drugs. So read on, and get ready to successfully reduce your waste line in 2018!
OK, just because you like to shop green, that doesn’t mean you are always on time! Nobody’s perfect. So here are 10 quick and sustainable gift ideas for your last minute Christmas shopping trip. (Just remember to ride your bike carefully through the snow…)
2. Hippie Veggie Clusters A great alternative to all the sweets under the tree, these snacks are Canadian made by Hippie Foods from real, simple, whole food ingredients. Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, B-Corp Certified and full of goodness! On sale for $5.99
3. London Drugs Stainless Steel Water Bottle Stop using disposable water bottles! Double-wall construction keeps liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24, while resisting sweat and condensation. It’s BPA and lead-free, and on sale right now for just $9.99
5. Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate This is an annual Green Deal Christmas favourite (to give OR receive!) Choose from a whole range of flavours, certified Fair Trade, and at just $4.59 each you can get two. (What the heck, it’s OK to keep one)
7. Green Magazines Give the gift of time to read over the holidays! Choose form a huge range of titles that will bring hours of relaxed enjoyment before being easily recycled. Or made into paper airplanes… or saved for wrapping next years presents… $9.99 – $11.99
8. London Naturals Organic Maple Syrup Nature’s sweetener! Harvested towards the end of the season, this darker syrup offers a more robust maple flavour that improves everything from coffee to pancakes. And it’s Canadian, Eh! $9.99
9. Bora Bora Recycled Post-It Notes These super-sticky notes are made with 30% post-consumer-recycled paper, with a plant-based adhesive that lets you stick them almost anywhere. Like on your teenager’s phone to remind them to take out the recycling…. Pack of three is just $8.99
10. CLIF Kid Organic Z-Bars These certified Organic snacks are perfect for keeping kids fueled. Non-GMO, no artificial flavours and no high-fructose corn syrup either. Made by CLIF Bar, London Drugs’ Sustainable Vendor of the Year for 2017! Package of 5, just $4.99
When we go to choose our Sustainable Vendor of the Year, we have a lot of great contenders. So what made CLIF Bar stand out this year? Here’s our top 10:
10. CLIF is committed to organic. Featuring 17 USDA Certified organic products and 77% organic or certified sustainable ingredients, they stand up for organic farming and increasing organic acreage.
9. CLIF is committed to reducing waste. When a company aligns with one of our London Drugs sustainability pillars, we take note. Across their organization 83% of waste was diverted from landfill or incineration in 2016.
8. CLIF sources 100% Green Power electricity for their facilities. They also support community- and school-owned wind turbines.
7. CLIF is growing, while staying green. A 10-year compounded annual growth rate of 18% could tempt some companies to stray from their roots. CLIF is growing even greener.
6. Diversity Rules. Sustainability is also about people. In 2016, women held 49% of leadership positions at CLIF, and 43% of all CLIF people were made up of ethnic minorities.
5. CLIF makes climate action a priority. CLIF measures their GHG emissions and has a strategy to reduce them. They also work with supply chain partners to transition to at least 50% green power for electricity used for Clif Bar products and services by 2020.
4. CLIF practices Responsible Purchasing. Another London Drugs priority, supply chain and upstream purchasing is crucial to sustainability. CLIF uses both internal and third party audits of their facilities and has taken control of baking operations with two new factory purchases in 2016.
3. CLIF sets the bar high for operational efficiency. Food Processing Magazine named CLIF’s Idaho bakery “Green Plant of the Year”, for using 37% less water and emitting 40% fewer emissions per unit of production.
2. CLIF’s sustainable aspirations start a the top. The company’s owners and CEO have built a business model not on one bottom line but on Five Aspirations: Sustaining their Business, Brands, People, Community, and Planet.
And last, but not least:
1. CLIF Bars are a big success with YOU the London Drugs customer. Creating a successful product and promoting it well is not easy. CLIF has done it with their whole line, letting London Drugs offer snacks that help people make healthy, happy and sustainable choices. That’s the REAL Green Deal!
Congratulations, CLIF BAR, London Drugs’ Sustainable Vendor of the Year.
Posted by Lorne Craig at November 15, 2017 12:21 pm