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Two announcements yesterday from retailers looking to make Earth Day-related news…

• Albertsons Companies announced a broad plastic waste reduction pledge to advance sustainability throughout the company.

According to the announcement, Albertsons’ pledge includes a commitment to “achieve even greater sustainability of Own Brands product packaging by ensuring that 100% of packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable by 2025 … decrease plastic usage, with an emphasis on single-use plastics … (and) recycle operational (non-consumer facing) plastics for use in new retail, industrial and/or consumer items.”

USA Today reports that “Wegmans plans to eliminate the use of plastic bags at its New York stores by year's end, and shoppers are being discouraged from reusing old ones,” putting it ahead of a New York State law banning plastic grocer bags that goes into effect on March 1, 2020.

"We want to get out ahead of this because we have a lot to learn from our customers about how we can help them make the shift to reusable bags, which are far better than paper bags for the environment," says Wegmans packaging and sustainability manager Jason Wadsworth.
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