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Recycling Plastic Bags Just Got Easier

Multi-Material BC and London Drugs team up to offer return-to-retail of plastic bags, plastic overwrap and foam packaging in City of Vancouver

July 29, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – Starting this long weekend, recycling plastic bags, plastic overwrap and foam packaging in Vancouver will be as simple as a trip to London Drugs. Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is partnering with London Drugs to offer this convenient option for residents to bring these materials to their local store for recycling. The one-year pilot program involves 11 stores in the City of Vancouver and will be evaluated for potential introduction in other parts of the province in the future. Beginning August 1, the following plastic bags, overwrap and foam packaging will be accepted at London Drugs stores in Vancouver:

  • Plastic bags and overwrap, including grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags, outer bags for diapers etc.
  • White and coloured plastic foam packaging, including foam meat trays, foam egg cartons and foam cushion packaging for electronics etc.

“MMBC’s partnership with London Drugs will increase access to consistent and convenient recycling of plastics and packaging for Vancouver residents,” said Allen Langdon, managing director of MMBC. “Our aim is to make recycling easier and ensure we divert more material away from landfills to be recycled into new products.”

“At London Drugs we are always looking for ways to enhance our retail-leading sustainable programs with the goal of providing our customers with new opportunities and channels to reduce waste and recycle more,” said Kevin Sorby, general manager, retail operations, London Drugs. “This new pilot program provides the citizens of Vancouver with the opportunity to go beyond their regular recycling and waste reduction habits with the ability to now be able to recycle ALL clean household foam packaging and soft plastics at London Drugs. This partnership with MMBC is our further commitment to sustainability and we look forward to seeing the results of this year-long pilot program at our 11 Vancouver London Drugs locations.”

Recycling helps to conserve resources, save energy and protect the environment. Plastic bags and overwrap are recycled into new grocery bags, plastic pallets, containers, crates, pipes, decking and park benches. Plastic foam packaging is recycled into picture frames, construction trim, moulding, park benches and fence posts.

In addition to London Drugs locations, City of Vancouver residents can continue to return plastic bags, overwrap and foam packaging at six other depots in the Vancouver area. A tool to find the nearest depot can be found at http://recyclinginbc.ca/mmbc-depots/. Residents are also able to recycle a variety of packaging and printed paper in their blue box at curbside or through recycling pick-up programs in multi-family buildings. A full list of packaging and printed paper that can be recycled is available at the following link: http://recyclinginbc.ca/program/mmbc-materials-list/.

MMBC is a not-for-profit organization overseeing residential packaging and printed paper recycling throughout much of the province, ensuring household material is collected, sorted and sold to end-markets. Plastic bags, overwrap and foam packaging are not collected at curbside because when these materials mix with other recyclables they do not separate well enough to meet the standards of North American recycling markets.

Since MMBC’s launch in 2014, British Columbians can now recycle new categories of packaging that were not included in many previous curbside or depot recycling programs – including milk cartons, foam polystyrene, plant pots, aluminum foil packaging, plastic bags, overwrap and drink cups. MMBC collected 186,509 tonnes of packaging and printed paper, or 43.6 kg per capita, across British Columbia in 2015.

Sustainability and recycling have been a priority and part of London Drugs’ daily operations since the 1980s. Partnering with a variety of regional, provincial and waste reduction partners, such as MMBC, London Drugs continues to be recognized for its waste stewardship across Western Canada. Additional items consumers can recycle at London Drugs include fluorescent lights, rechargeable and alkaline batteries, cell phones, cardboard, electronics and cartridges for printers and computers. More information on the many items London Drugs will take back for recycling can be found at www.greendeal.ca.

About Multi-Material BC

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is a not-for-profit organization that is fully financed by its member businesses, with a mandate to manage residential packaging and printed paper recycling programs in communities across British Columbia. MMBC provides recycling services either directly to communities or by working in partnership with local governments, First Nations, private companies, and other non-profit organizations to ensure households across BC are receiving best-in-class recycling services. www.multimaterialbc.ca / www.recyclinginbc.ca

About London Drugs

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 79 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store www.londondrugs.com. London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

Media Contact:

Kelly Furey, kelly.furey@fleishman.ca, 604-630-0572 (cell: 604-999-5803)