Whole Foods Market Institutes New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines for All Body Care and Supplement Suppliers

Whole Foods Market reports that it has implemented new responsible packaging guidelines for all body care and supplement suppliers. As part of the change, the company has switched to post-consumer recycled (PCR) content bottles for several of its store-brand supplements and body care products.

“We’re thrilled by how responsive our vendors have been in making changes to provide even more green options for our customers,” said Jeremiah McElwee, global Whole Body coordinator for Whole Foods Market, in a press release. “More exciting still is that through the development process, Whole Foods Market has created a forum for vendors to share best practices, helping the whole industry move forward with our environment top of mind.”

McElwee and his team began working with 25 of Whole Foods Market’s largest personal care product suppliers in the summer of 2008 to form the new guidelines, which took effect September 1, 2009. The guidelines mandate that suppliers reduce the use of plastic in product packaging, encourage the switch to glass when possible, limit acceptable packaging materials to those that are easily reused or recycled, and/or feature the highest percentage of PCR content, the company reported in the press release. Suppliers were given one year to make the transition.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re committed to reducing, reusing and recycling waste on all levels of business, and we’re thrilled to be leading the green packaging charge with our store-brand products,” said McElwee in the release. “We knew that PCR-content bottles were the way to go. They require less energy and water to produce and generate far fewer greenhouse gases, while diverting reusable materials out of the landfill and reducing reliance on virgin plastics.”

The company plans to switch all of its house-brand Whole Body products, which now use amber plastic PET No. 1 bottles, to PCR packaging by late 2010, the company reported. A leaf symbol on the PCR bottles denotes that they are made from 100% PCR plastic.

All new body care and supplement suppliers must meet the packaging guidelines before their products can be sold in one of the company’s more than 300 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Visit http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2010/09/leading-the-green-packaging-cha... for more details.

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