Each year, because we have become busier and busier, our waste generation has increased in all areas, especially in single-use soft plastic pallet wrap waste. Fortunately, we do recycle a majority of this clean waste stream in the back of the house with our wonderful distributor, Moresco, but with the recent limitations imposed on the U.S. by China, we have been focusing on reducing waste at the source as well as recycling this waste stream better.
In 2016, our Sustainability Coordinator at the time, Allison Jenks, discovered “reusable pallet wraps” and “reusable pallet bands” through “UseReusables,” a program managed by StopWaste.org based out of the East Bay (watch video HERE). Allison immediately introduced reusable pallet wraps to our main corporate warehouse in 2016 and although they weren’t a huge hit at first, we gathered extensive staff feedback in 2017, and did more research, ultimately finding a user-friendly reusable pallet wrap made from 60-80% recycled content, made in the U.S.A., through a company called REUSA WRAPS. They even color-coded different sizes so that staff are easily and efficiently able to identify the wrap size when not in use. Additionally, we invested in several reusable pallet bands through a company called Aero Rubber and distributed company-wide to be used in various applications.
In total, we invested in 83 reusable pallet wraps and 300 reusable pallet bands company-wide last year making our wine departments currently over 90% single-use plastic pallet wrap free, saving over 1.5 tons of plastic waste, or over 27 miles worth in distance (Windsor Oliver’s all the way to the city of Petaluma!) of single-use plastic pallet wrap waste.
In 2019, we have plans to integrate more reusable pallet wrap options into our operations and expect our plastic waste reduction numbers to soar!
*Metrics based on purchasing reports between 2017 and 2018 and sales growth.
Please click here to send any questions or suggestions about Oliver’s commitment to sustainability or simply to learn more about what Oliver’s Market is doing to be the most sustainable grocery in Sonoma County!