Publix continues to eliminate waste by making sustainable retail foodservice changes

The Florida-based grocer continues to expand its efforts in energy efficiency in retail foodservice by opting for lighter plastic slider bags in deli, single labels in bakery and switching to returnable plastic totes for seafood shipments.
Photograph: Shutterstock

On its website Publix displays its real time estimate of the total paper and plastic grocery bags saved—based on the average improvement of paper and plastic grocery usage since mid-2007. The number is over 8 billion and growing.

As one of the largest employee-owned grocers in the U.S., Publix, the Florida-based grocer continues to expand its efforts in energy efficiency in retail foodservice as well.

The bakery department made changes to its product labeling, by consolidating the date, price and product description onto a single label, which resulted in eliminating about 35 million separate labels per year, Publix said on its website. Another step taken in the bakery foodservice section was the reduction of paper used for the grocer’s muffin cups, prompting around 13,000 pounds of paper saved per year, the grocer said on its website.

In the deli department, the grocery retailer opted to a lighter plastic slider bag bringing plastic usage down by more than 327,000 pounds per year.

“By installing cutlery stations at each deli counter, Publix has removed the need for plastic-wrapped cutlery sets. This change has saved an estimated 35,600 pounds of plastic per year,” Publix said.

In the seafood department, Publix changed its shipping processes to eliminate polystyrene and other improvements. “By switching to returnable plastic totes for shipments, more than 190,000 polystyrene foam containers and hard-to-recycle cardboard has been eliminated,” Publix said.

This past June on World Oceans Day, Publix donated $40,000 to Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). This is the 12th year Publix has donated to SFP, contributing a total of $480,000 to support fishery and aquaculture improvement projects and other efforts to advance the sustainability of seafood, Publix said in a statement.

As consumers' dedication to sustainable living continues to climb, demand for more sustainable options extends beyond grocery retailers. Kwik Lok Corp, a leader in bag closures, are also listening to consumers’ sustainability goals.

In fact, one of Kwik Lok’s most sustainable products, the Eco-Lok closure, uses up to 20% less fossil fuel during manufacturing. One interesting anecdote, if retailers across the country used 100 million Eco-Lok closures annually, enough gas would be saved to drive back and forth between Mexico and Canada six times. That’s because Kwik Lok uses 100% natural, renewably sourced plant-based resin that requires less fuel to manufacture.

“We remain focused on delivering solutions that are not only innovative, but also focused on sustainability. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all closure that meets the varying sustainability needs of our international customers,” said Don Carrell, CEO of Kwik Lok in a statement. “Our team will be available at IBIE to demonstrate our latest innovations and to help guide our current and potential customers in selecting the sustainable closure technology that best meets their business needs and market requirements.” 




This post is sponsored by Kwik Lok