Since 2016, Wegmans has avoided the use of more than 6 million pounds of virgin fossil-based plastic. This equates to approximately 150 truckloads worth of packaging we didn’t use. We accomplished this by increasing the use of renewable plant-based material, mineral fillers, and post-consumer recycled plastic in our packaging.
Our goal is to make sure packaging is functional, performs as expected, and uses materials efficiently and responsibly. To improve the sustainability of our packaging, we are focused on using less plastic, reducing food waste, using renewable and recycled content, and increasing recyclability.
Wegmans has a unique partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Center for Sustainable Packaging and American Packaging Corporation. This gives us access to applied research for developing sustainable packaging solutions that reduce our impact on our communities.
- Produce and bulk food bags are made from 100% plant-based renewable materials, not fossil fuels. Unlike other renewable plastics, these bags can be recycled in our plastic recycling receptacles.
- An effort is underway to reduce plastic use for USDA Organic items.
Restaurant Foods/Market Café
- Plastic coffee stir sticks have been replaced with wood ones.
- Rotisserie chickens now come in a plastic pouch, which uses 75% less plastic than the two-piece plastic domes previously used.
- The containers for the self-serve food bars, Perfect Portions Meals and pre-packaged Asian bowls use 40% less plastic than similar-sized containers and are recyclable.
- Our cutlery is made from 30% plant-based material and our napkins are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Dispensers for these items help control the quantities used and minimize waste.
- Non-recyclable wax-lined paper cups were replaced with recyclable #1 PET plastic.
- Paper straws will replace plastic straws in the first quarter of 2019.
- Wegmans’ reusable shopping bags are the best way to reduce single-use plastic and paper bags.
- Our plastic bags contain 40% post-consumer recycled content, all of which is generated by customers returning their plastic bags to the store.
Bakery and Around the Store
- Donut and cake boxes contain 100% recycled paper content.
- Plastic bakery packaging is recyclable #1 PET with 30% post-consumer recycled content.
- The trash bags we use are made from 100% post-consumer content sourced from agricultural waste plastic.
- Our employee uniform shirts are made from 100% recycled #1 PET plastic and are then recycled into sound-proofing insulation for automobiles.
- Wegmans is a member of the How 2 Recycle program, an effort to simplify recycling messages for consumers. Customers will start to see this recycling logo on more Wegmans Brand products.
- We have eliminated foam packaging throughout the store where alternatives exist. Through our partnership with RIT, we continue to look for egg carton and meat tray alternatives that will perform as well as the foam trays, and protect the food throughout the supply chain.