October 8, 2007

Plastic/cardboard "sandwiches" turn 50% of store waste into revenue

MISSISSAUGA, ONT-Wal-Mart Canada plans to expand its recycling program in stores nationwide following a successful pilot project in approximately one-third of its 293 outlets. The program focuses on plastic film and cardboard, which account for more than half of the waste generated by Wal-Mart store operations. A single baler in each store's stockroom is used to create "sandwiches" made up of a layer of plastic film pressed between two layers of cardboard. These compacted "sandwiches" are stored, picked up by a recycling company, separated by material categories and sold. While the pilot recycling program included just the cardboard and plastic film from merchandise shipments, Wal-Mart is expanding the program to include other plastics such as clothing hangers and used plastic shopping bags returned by customers. The initiative is part of the retailer's commitment to reduce its waste by 87 million kilograms in 2007, a target the company is on track to surpass by 15%.

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