MRO Magazine

Whole Foods Market North Atlantic Region Joins Recycle Across America’s “Leaders for Progress” Initiative to Help Reduce Global Waste


May 12, 2015
By Business Wire News

MINNEAPOLIS

Nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) today announced a new partnership with Whole Foods Market, commencing in the North Atlantic region (WFM-NA), as part of RAA’s Leaders for Progress and celebrity-led “Let’s recycle right!” campaign to help reduce global waste, reduce waste in oceans and to help close the loop with the reuse of recycled materials in manufacturing.

As a result of the collaboration, RAA’s easy-to-understand society-wide standardized labels are starting to be displayed on trash and recycling bins at Whole Foods Markets in the North Atlantic Region locations, making it easier for employees and customers to recycle right.

The nation’s leading provider of natural and organic groceries is participating in this national movement to help advance its waste diversion goals and to support a society-wide standardized label solution for recycling bins to promote proper recycling throughout society. As a retailer and manufacturer of goods, Whole Foods Market recognizes the direct correlation between society recycling properly and the ability to use recycled content in the manufacturing of packaging and products at a cost that is more competitive than virgin materials. Subsequently, this solution helps preserve natural resources and reduces the amount of waste going into oceans, waterways and sea life.

RAA’s society-wide standardized labels for recycling bins have proven to increase recycling levels between 50-100% while significantly reducing the amount of garbage that typically contaminates the recycling process as a result of the public’s confusion at the bin. Additionally, in an independent national focus group to test the efficacy and appeal of the standardized labels against other recycling labels, the standardized labels won in each category.

To further WFM-NA’s impact, they are also donating funds to RAA to provide thousands of free standardized labels to K-12 public schools in WFM-NA communities, helping the next generation become better recyclers. The contribution is adding to the 3,200 schools in the U.S. that have begun using the standardized labels including, Houston, Washington DC, San Diego, Scottsdale, Honolulu, Orlando school districts and more.

The support from WFM-NA and other brands joining the Leaders for Progress initiativeis also helping advance the celebrity-led “Let’s recycleright!” public service campaign – which has engaged more than 40 celebrities and is being deemed the next “Got Milk” campaign, but for recycling.

“Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region is proud to play a role in Recycle Across America’s important movement towards standardized labels for recycling bins,” said Karen Franczyk, Green Mission Coordinator for Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region. “Our customers share our commitment to environmental stewardship and by supporting the Let’s recycleright! Campaign, we are giving them a valuable tool towards supporting that goal. Additionally, Whole Foods Market is proud to be donating standardized recycling labels to a number of our local schools. Educating our youngest stakeholders is a crucial step towards creating real environmental change for the future.”

Recycling has been identified as the most important action society can take to help the environment, but only when it is done properly. Every day there are millions of tons of garbage thrown in recycling bins as a result of the public’s confusion from historically inconsistent and confusing labels on bins. This contamination cripples the economics of recycling and prevents many companies from choosing recycled materials for use in their manufacturing. When manufacturers continue to use virgin materials, finite natural resources deplete rapidly. Additionally, without proper recycling and reuse of materials, these otherwise valuable materials increasingly plague waterways, oceans and harming sea life.

“It’s outstanding to be partnering with Whole Foods Market in the North Atlantic region,” said Mitch Hedlund, Executive Director of RAA. “Whole Foods hits on every touch-point of this solution because they are a high-profile consumer brand, retailer and manufacturer. In a way, Whole Foods Market is the perfect trifecta to demonstrate the three critical players it takes to properly ‘close the loop.’ Whole Foods Market’s overall brand resonates with society as high quality and environmentally progressive, therefore working with them is a powerful alliance to help this solution advance more quickly. Leaders for progress such as WFM-NA are environmental game changers because they are able to inspire change at a macro level to rapidly pollinate progress. The fact that they are alsodonating standardized labels to schools further demonstrates their ongoing commitment to sustainability that will benefit our planet for generations to come.”

The society-wide labeling solution for recycling bins is also being used by an increasing number of universities, public destinations and some of the most notable businesses and brands in the world. To date there are nearly 750,000 of RAA’s standardized labels on recycling bins throughout the U.S.

About Recycle Across America

Recycle Across America(RAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which has developed the first and only society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins to help eliminate the public confusion surrounding recycling and to improve the economics of closed loop manufacturing. RAA and the standardized labels have been identified as a world-changing solution by Ashoka Global Innovators for the Public and are being referred to as “one of the most important environmental fixes taking root today.” For more information about RAA’s standardized label initiative or its celebrity-led ‘Let’s Recycle Right’ campaign, visit www.recycleacrossamerica.org or contact info@recycleacrossasmerica.org.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 88,000 team members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2014, the company had sales of more than $14 billion and currently has more than 405 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

for Recycle Across America
Paul Williams, (310) 569-0023
paul@medialinecommunications.com