Another new retail partnership has emerged—and one that prioritizes Mother Earth, at that. Wakefern Food Corp. has recently upped its sustainability efforts, announcing that it has joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag in its Beyond the Bag Initiative. As part of this initiative, Wakefern will join the list of other big-name retailers who are looking to identify and test solutions for a more sustainable retail bag.
"For more than four decades, the Wakefern Cooperative has supported sustainability through efforts such as recycling plastic bags and other materials, reducing food waste, and implementing energy-efficient technology at retail and in our distribution centers. Encouraging our customers to use reusable bags to shop and reducing dependency on single-use plastic and traditional paper bags is another important part of our commitment to the environment,” said Wakefern’s Chief Communications Officer, Karen Meleta. “We believe the best bag is a reusable bag, and we are proud to work with fellow Consortium Partners and innovators to create an even better retail bag and further advance our waste reduction initiatives.”
Wakefern’s banners already carry various reusable bag options for shoppers, and the company looks forward to discovering even better, more sustainable designs for a better bag at checkout through this initiative, according to a press release.
The Beyond the Bag Initiative is a three-year effort to create sustainable and cost-effective retail bag solutions. Founding partners include Target and Walmart, working alongside other retailers Dollar General, Kroger, Albertsons Companies, Hy-Vee, Meijer, and more. The Consortium engages with stakeholders including suppliers, materials recovery facilities, municipalities, advocacy groups, and others. The Consortium takes a holistic approach to identify and scale affordable, accessible, and less-wasteful alternatives to the retail bag, spanning multiple complementary workstreams, spurring innovation, advancing materials recovery through infrastructure investments, and identifying best practices for policy and engaging consumers.
“Wakefern’s connection to the communities its stores serve, and its alignment with the Consortium’s broader vision, lay the essential foundation for meaningful impact at scale,” said Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, the company that launched the Consortium. “We are thrilled to welcome Wakefern Food Corp. to the Consortium to help build more pathways for collaboration that will create and incentivize sustainable, long-term change for retail.”
Deli Market News will keep you up to date as more retailers make an effort to put the planet first.