Everything You Should Know About Recycling at Meijer in 2024

As a leading sustainable retailer, Meijer empowers their customers to recycle many everyday materials through easily accessible store programs. But what exactly does Meijer recycle? As a loyal Meijer shopper for over a decade, I‘ve seen the recycling bins fill up week after week, proving these programs divert substantial waste. Read on for a helpful guide to recycling your used plastics, batteries, ink cartridges, and bottles while grocery shopping.

Why Recycling Matters to Meijer

Before diving into what Meijer recycles and how, it‘s worth understanding why these programs align with the retailer‘s identity. As a Midwest local, Meijer donates over $1 million annually to environmental projects that beautify communities and protect ecosystems. "We feel a responsibility as neighbors to be good stewards," says Senior Vice President of Properties and Real Estate Frank Guglielmi.

Beyond philanthropy, recycling bolsters Meijer‘s reputation and operations:

  • Recycling programs divert 81% of store waste from landfills
  • Engages environmentally-conscious customer base
  • Reduces municipal waste fees by reselling certain recyclable materials

In summary, Meijer‘s range of recycling initiatives save resources, give materials new life, support community, and simply make business sense. The impact also appeals to the wider public good by reducing greenhouse emissions from manufacturing virgin materials.

What Can You Recycle at Meijer?

I‘ve put together this handy table summarizing the common everyday materials you can drop off to be recycled during grocery trips:

MaterialCollection Method in StoreEst. Yearly Volume RecycledKey Recycling Process Details
Plastic Shopping BagsFront of store drop-off bins120 million bagsBags recycled into parking lot asphalt; also bag production
Plastic Films & PackagingBins accept clean films marked "store drop-off"; even amazon mailers!500,000 lbsBecome composite lumber, outdoor furniture, etc
Ink/Toner CartridgesStore drop-off; refill stations600,000Disassembled and components reused in affordable replacement cartridges
BatteriesDrop-off bins near front-end registers45 tonsBattery components safely broken down and managed as commodities/chemicals
Redemption Bottles/CansAutomated bottle return machinesTens of millionsProcessed locally into recycled glass, aluminum manufacturing

So with an idea of what Meijer recycles and general steps, let‘s explore the key programs in more detail…

Recycling Plastic Bags at Meijer

It starts by grabbing extra plastic bags from your last online shopping haul and loading up the car. Meijer makes the process convenient through bright green plastic bag recycling bins stationed near entry doors. As a frequent customer, I appreciate not needing to make an extra stop to recycle bags that often get tossed in the trash.

Signage clearly marks bags and plastic films accepted:

  • Grocery and shopping bags
  • Case overwrap
  • Bread bags
  • And more!

Shockingly, these bins collect over 120 million plastic bags and films yearly for recycling. Where do all these used bags end up? As materials for…

  • Manufacturing new bags
  • Innovative parking lots: Local Holland, MI location collaborated with Dow Chemical to pioneer bag-derived asphalt! Around 12,500 pounds of PCR plastic now gravel Meijer‘s lot.

Additionally, Meijer joined industry peers to launch the Beyond the Bag initiative targeting single-use plastic bags. I fully support the campaign after forgetting my reusable bags at home once too often!

Recycling Ink/Toner Cartridges, Batteries

Tucked between aisles or peeking behind front-end checkouts, you may notice those familiar slender rectangular recycling bins for printer ink/toner and small household batteries. As an avid bargain hunter always scouring for deals, I regularly change out ink cartridges. Meijer‘s programs make sure my empties avoid the landfill.

In 2021 alone, over 600,000 ink/toner cartridges entered back into circulation through Meijer collection. Once returned to manufacturers, cartridges get fully disassembled, cleaned, rebuilt, and refilled. The remanufactured cartridges offer a discounted yet high-quality option for replacing drained home and office printers. It‘s a win-win service extending cartridge lifespans I‘m happy to utilize.

You can also drop off the usual suspects of household batteries:

  • AA, AAA
  • Computer and phone batteries
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • And more!

While batteries feel harmless, they leak dangerous chemicals and heavy metals over time. Responsibly repurposing battery components into new commodities means less contamination risk. In 2021, Meijer battery recycling kept 45 tons of batteries from landfilling. I sleep better knowing these programs protect my family‘s surroundings.

Returning Bottles and Cans

Michiganders religiously return bottles and cans thanks to the 10-cent deposit motivating recycling. And Meijer‘s bottle machines attract endless droves carting clanky bags full of returns. Personally, I save up bottle returns from parties and gatherings for a monthly Meijer trip.

The machines conveniently accept all beer, soda and water bottles, cans, and other containers sold at Meijer stores in Michigan. So no need to sort by brand beforehand! Simply:

  • Drain and rinse containers
  • Separate bottle/can types
  • Limit $25 returns per visit

In unclear cases, staff help determine if a container qualifies based on markings and origin. Though rarely an issue at a main grocery source like Meijer!

Ultimately, tens of millions of bottles and cans re-enter the production cycle through Meijer‘s redemption program instead of shattering in landfills. The glass, aluminum and plastic gets re-melted and manufactured into new goods. And I get some spare gas money!

Continue the Impact: Recycle at Meijer!

As outlined above, Meijer offers several zero-hassle opportunities to keep hard-to-recycle plastics, electronics, and containers from landfill waste. These initiatives importantly align with the company‘s community values around sustainability. And we customers directly see the impact through converted parking lots, upcycled ink cartridges and more.

I encourage all who shop Meijer stores to consciously use the recycling offerings while grocery shopping. Store drop-offs for plastics, batteries and small devices mean one less waste removal stop! Together we can achieve meaningful progress through these programs conveniently built into our shopping routines.

Similar Posts