Albertsons Companies pharmacies are swapping white for brown as they transition from traditional white prescription bags to a new recycled brown bag at 1,700+ locations across the United States. The switch to the more sustainable bag is expected to save more than 5,000 trees annually.
Made with 100% recycled content, the new bags include 60% post-consumer recycled content, making Albertsons Companies the first major pharmacy chain to offer this type of bag. The fiber in the new bags is certified to meet the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards for recycled content and is Rainforest Alliance Certified.
“Changing something like a prescription bag can seem like a small decision, but if we can support the health of our planet as well as the health of our patients, we’ll gladly do it,” said Mark Panzer, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Health and Wellness, Albertsons Companies. “We look at this move as something that positions us as a leader not only in performance and innovation, but also in environmental responsibility. We hope other pharmacies follow our lead.”
Placing medication and paperwork inside a bag is an important way that pharmacies protect patients’ personal health information. Partnering with Novolex, a packaging leader dedicated to providing innovative and sustainable options for customers, Albertsons Companies plans to fully transition all its pharmacy locations to the recycled bags by the end of 2020.
“When companies ask for more sustainable options, we’re fortunate to be in a position to provide choices. Albertsons Companies’ leadership will set the tone for others and demonstrates their commitment to responding to consumers’ preferences for packaging choices that consider environmental impact,” said Erik Gonring, Novolex’s Director of Sustainability.
The bags will be used at all Albertsons Companies pharmacies, including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs.
Customers will also note that the bags highlight additional pharmacy services offered to patients, such as vaccinations, specialty care, auto refills, and the pharmacy app. The new bags are 100% recyclable and have the words “recycle me!” printed on the side panel—a reminder that we can all play a role in reducing waste.
This announcement represents the latest in a series of actions and targets Albertsons Companies is communicating to advance sustainability, including their recent commitment to reduce the use of plastic packaging in their stores.
To view Albertsons Companies’ latest sustainability highlights, click here.