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

July 25th, 2017

5 Things You Need to Know About Greener Sunscreen.

Great Green Sunscreen Info Graphic

Sunscreen is one of those things we are supposed to apply liberally to our arms, legs, face, kids… so what’s actually IN it? How does it work? Are some sunscreens ‘greener’ than others? Here’s some information for your consideration from the London Drugs’ What’s the Green Deal Team:

1. How sunscreen works: There are 2 types:

MINERAL sunscreen creates a layer of particles (zinc or titanium oxide) that deflect the sun’s rays.
Effective immediately
Does not degrade from UV exposure
Does not penetrate the skin
Also effective against UVA rays
Can leave white residue

CHEMICAL sunscreen uses compounds that absorb the sun’s rays and turn them into non-damaging wavelengths.
Easy to apply, non-whitening
Requires wait time to be effective
Chemicals can penetrate skin
Chemicals degrade when exposed to UV

2. Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients
Chemical sunscreens typically contain a combination of two to six of the following active ingredients:
Recently, concerns have been raised about long-term safety of some of these ingredients, particularly oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 ) which, in addition to sun protection, acts as a penetration enhancer. This chemical has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cellular damage.
(Oxybenzone is present in over 500 other North American cosmetic items.)  1

Watch the Spray!
Spray sunscreens have increased in popularity, but some experts don’t recommend them, because of the hazard of inhaling chemicals and particles. 2

3.Look for Broad Spectrum Protection
The suns rays come in different lengths, and it’s a good idea to protect against them all.
UVA radiation
Goes deeper into the skin (dermis).
Causes premature aging and wrinkles.
Causes tanning.
UVB radiation
Affects the skin’s surface (epidermis).
Contributes most to burning of skin.
Damages your eyes. 5

4. Is Higher SPF Better?
People assume that they get twice as much protection from SPF 100 sunscreen as from SPF 50. In reality, the extra protection may be negligible. Used correctly, sunscreen with SPF values in the range of 30 to 50 will offer adequate protection, even for people most sensitive to sunburn.6

UV protection does not follow a linear relationship, meaning that if you apply half of the recommended amount you get LESS than half of the labeled SPF protection.

5. Protect ecosystems and coral too – Biodegradable and Reef Safe options
Researchers have identified four common sunscreen chemicals as toxic to coral health. (oxybenzone butylparaben, octinoxate and a chemical called 4MBC)
Unfortunately, 25 to 60 million bottles worth of sunscreen chemicals wash off into coral reef areas each year. Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, (natural mineral ingredients), have not been found harmful to corals. 4 If you are swimming in nature, choose one of these options.

Great Green Sunscreen Options
London Drugs is pleased to offer a range of sunscreen options. Here are some choices that protect as sustainably as possible:

Aveeno Mineral & Aveeno Baby
Mineral based protection
UVA, UVB protection

Badger Sunscreens
Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Mineral Protection
87% organic ingredients
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Boo Bamboo Natural Sunscreen
Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Oxide
UVA, UVB protection
Made in Canada

Goddess Garden
Certified organic
Non-Nano, Reef Safe, Non-GMO, Biodegradable
Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben and Phthalate Free
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Green Beaver
Non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide mineral protection
100% natural, biodegradable and reef friendly
Made in Canada
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc
Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide
UVA, UVB protection

Trying a new sunscreen?
Test a little on a small area of skin. If you have a reaction, please bring the product back.

LEARN MORE at greendeal.ca 
Blogs, videos, articles & products to help you live a little greener.


Source: London Drugs Health Blog 2014 – http://healthblog.londondrugs.com/suncare-update-2014
Source: Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Report 2017 – http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/executive-summary/#.WW_md4qQxE5
ENvironmental Working Group – Do the Chemicals in your sunscreen damage fragile coral reefs? – http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/07/do-chemicals-your-sunscreen-damage-fragile-coral-reefs#.WW_vvIqQxE4
US National Park Service Bulletin – Protect Yourself, Protect the Reef! – https://cdhc.noaa.gov/_docs/Site%20Bulletin_Sunscreen_final.pdf
Canadian Skin Cancer Foundtion -http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/sun-screen.html
Environmental Working Group – What’s wrong with high SPF? – http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/#.WW_054qQxE4

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!


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.

“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!


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.