Tag Archives: packaging

A plea for refill stations at the grocery store

I was delighted to read the feeds this morning and see this in the Globe:

An open letter to Loblaw’s Galen Weston (Loblaws is a Canadian supermarket)

To: Galen G. Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Cos. Ltd.

I’ve been thinking. I like what you’ve been doing with the whole President’s Choice Organics thing, but I’m not sure it’s the right focus if you’re trying to position your company as a grocery leader in the 21st century (after all, once Wal-Mart got on the organics bandwagon, everyone else became, by default, part of the crowd). So, here’s my tip to put you on the cutting edge: President’s Choice Refillables.

Yes, I think refillables are destined to be the future for grocery stores everywhere, and I’m here to make their case so you will lead the way. (read whole article)


I’ve had this idea (well, in parts anyways) and explained it to a friend last semester. Why can’t we have recyclable packaging? The amount of packaging that we go through on our weekly trip to the grocery store is abominable. From the individually wrapped red pepper to the awful disposable lunch packs. (of which I try to stay away from… but can’t completely avoid the plastic!)

Says the BBC over 4 years ago…. Grocery packaging ‘costs £15bn’

Supermarket shoppers are spending £470 a year – a sixth of their food budget – on packaging, a report suggests.

They found customers spent £15bn on packaging each year and that delivery lorries travel the equivalent of two return trips to the moon every day

So, I’m putting this out there so that it’s not just for Loblaws, it’s for anyone in the grocery biz on this side of the Atlantic too.

Please, someone, be innovative and change this industry around.

Understandably, this is not just a ‘poof’, done, task. Changing the packaging industry requires all of the suppliers to get on board too. And that, would most definitely be a feat considering that packaging is all about marketing, consumer protection, marketing, and again… marketing…. So, for this to work, many players would need to get involved and accept it.

Must say, that although I love to hate Wal-Mart, the world’s largest public corp is making headways on its environmental performance and could be the one to make this a go. (A friend of mine is always quick to point that out for me with these posts.) And their clout in the supply chain is like no other. (Mattel, the toy maker relies on 40% of its sales from only three stores – Wal-Mart, Target and Toys-R-Us).

But in terms of the feasibility of refillables, I bike everywhere… so, don’t have a solution quite yet, but glass jars might be a tad difficult in my bike basket…

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The milk bag boys

I wanted to write another post about Wal-Mart going green (which is making it harder for me to hate it…) but I’ll have to do that later.

For now, what I absolutely must show my international readers is this:


Yes my friends, we drink our milk from bags!

(Loved the dancing at the beginning and the Canadian toque!)

When reduced packaging is all the rage now, I have to say I’m quite proud that this is what I grew up with.  Yes you can say what you want about it still being plastic etc., but at the end of the day, it uses less energy to produce a small bag than a carton (with the numerous materials that go into it) and takes up much less space when it goes to the landfill.

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