New Seasons Market, New Leaf to Punt on Plastics

Pledges to eliminate all single-use water bottles by Earth Day
Photograph courtesy of New Seasons Market

New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets are getting aggressive on waste, vowing to eliminate single-use bottles of water from all stores by Earth Day (April 22). The  announcement by the Portland-based grocers, part of Good Food Holdings, marks the latest effort from both brands over decades of work to reduce waste in local communities, the company said.

The initiative will discontinue the sale of still water, in capacities of 1 liter or less, bottled in single-use plastic, fiber, aluminum or glass containers from all New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Market stores.

“Combined, beverage bottles, caps and lids make up the second most common form of ocean litter. By committing to using reusable bottles, we can remove over a quarter million single-use plastic, aluminum and glass bottles a year,” said Athena Petty, senior sustainability manager for New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets, in a statement. “We’re starting efforts with still water in containers 1 liter or less because opting for reusables is an easy individual choice to help lessen our collective environmental impact.”

Both grocers will continue to offer larger sizes of water in the grocery department, as well as single-serve bottles of sparkling and flavored water that are not available from the tap. To help customers transition their habits, stores will continue to offer one refillable single-serve bottle of still water from Pathwater, a company that seeks to end single-use plastics by offering consumers a specialized aluminum bottle that is designed to be refilled. Customers will also be able to find a selection of reusable water bottles in the home goods department.

The single-use water bottle elimination is one step in New Seasons Market’s and New Leaf Community Markets’ sustainability initiatives for the year. Both grocers will continue to reward their Neighbor Rewards members with 10 bonus points when shopping with reusables. Program members can also opt-in to save paper by signing up to receive e-receipts. The grocers will further support waste reduction efforts with a goal to reduce operational waste from their stores, striving to achieve a 57% landfill diversion rate. Additionally, both have set an annual companywide goal to reduce energy use by 5% per revenue dollar.

While COVID has accelerated change in many aspects of grocery, research shows it has not diminished consumer demand for products and retailers committed to sustainability. A recent global study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found the pandemic had actually heightened consumer interest in sustainability.

At New Seasons Market, departments will continue to evaluate and implement other packaging improvements, including switching to lighter weight or reduced footprint packaging on bulk tubs, half-pie clamshells, grab-and-go items, and in produce, the company said.

New Seasons Market is part of Good Food Holdings—the holding company for Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets. New Seasons works with a team of nearly 3,500 staff across 19 stores in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Locally minded, the grocer has committed 10% of its after-tax profits to the communities it serves.

An organic and natural grocer with five stores along the Central Coast, New Leaf Community Markets has been serving the community for 35 years. A wholly owned subsidiary of New Seasons Market since November 2013, New Leaf Community Markets is the first grocer in California to achieve B Corporation certification, which means that New Leaf uses the power of business to solve social and economic problems, says the grocer, which also gives 10% of its profits annually to support local nonprofits working to improve the quality of life.


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