H-E-B Celebrates Earth Month with Plastic Bag Recycling Push
In celebration of Earth Month, H-E-B launched new initiatives to further its commitment to reducing waste and recycling more in communities across Texas. There are approximately 5 trillion plastic bags used per year worldwide, 95% of which end up in landfills. H-E-B is doing its part to reduce that number by encouraging plastic bag recycling at its stores and funding recycling programs in communities across the state.
Since 2004, H-E-B has collected over 58 million pounds of plastic in its storefront plastic bag recycling bins. This year, H-E-B refreshed the look of these bins to make them more visible to customers. New signage reminds customers to drop off their plastic bag recycling and bring their own reusable bags. Now, customers can also drop off plastic bags and plastic film during curbside grocery pickup. H-E-B will accept clean and dry plastic grocery bags, newspaper bags, produce bags, zipper sandwich bags, plastic insulation, bubble wrap, and overwrap film. Last year, H-E-B recycled 19 million pounds of plastics, which it used to create products such as Field & Future by H-E-B trash bags. While much of the plastic bag recycling goes into producing more plastic bags, some recycling companies are now manufacturing plastic “lumber” that is used to build park benches, fences, and playground equipment.
In addition to recycling programs, H-E-B is also doing what it can to improve environmental sustainability. The retailer gave out free reusable bags at every store across the state on Earth Day, April 22nd. The grocer’s plastic grocery bags have new How2Recycle labels reminding customers to return the bags to the store for recycling. The company is working to improve training so that its employees use fewer plastic bags at checkout and has committed to using biodegradable cutlery and straws in all stores, restaurants, and corporate locations. All newly constructed H-E-B stores include sustainable features such as solar panels, EV chargers and energy-efficient refrigeration with condensation capture for landscape irrigation.
Beyond the store, H-E-B teamed up with 600 elementary schools in Texas for H-E-B’s annual School Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge for Earth Month. Additionally, in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, H-E-B has awarded six projects across the state with community recycling grants totaling $157,000. H-E-B operates more than 430 stores in Texas and Mexico under the H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda banners. H-E-B also owns Favor Delivery, a service available in cities across Texas.