WHAT’S IN STORE LANGLEY: London Drugs offers ‘recycling amnesty’

In this week’s business column, the editor talks recycling and good deeds.

Excessive packaging is a bugaboo for many, myself included. And it’s so much more apparent at this time of the year, after millions of parcels and holiday packages have been sent and shared. And now the materials left over are piling up – and too much of it is being sent to the landfill.

Honestly, in recent years, the rise of online shopping has exponentially increased the amount of packaging waste produced over the holiday shopping season. Past holiday seasons, for example, Canada Post delivered a record 62 million parcels. And according to some studies, packaging makes up about 30 per cent of household waste.

So, what can be done to help divert this packaging waste? Turns out London Drugs can help.

The stores – including the Langley location – are accepting cardboard, hard plastics, soft plastics, over-wrap, bubble wrap, and Styrofoam until Jan. 31 – and not just stuff bought at the store. That initiative began back in 2008 and last year the chain achieved an impressive overall 93.9 per cent waste diversion rate, with more than 12.5 million pounds of waste diverted from city landfills across Western Canada.

Now, this new initiative they’re calling Package Recycling Amnesty, takes it a step further.

It’s a way to help customers responsibly recycle so much of this stuff – no matter where it was purchased.

“London Drugs customers can already get their packaging recycled for free. This month we’re offering Package Recycling Amnesty to all. Bring it to any store, no matter where the product was purchased, so it can be recycled responsibly,” said Maury McCausland, London Drugs retail operations sustainability specialist.

In B.C. stores, customers can also bring in other flexible packaging. Through a pilot program with RecycleBC, London Drugs is now accepting a wide variety of flexible plastics including; stand up and zipper lock pouches, crinkly wrappers and bags, (including chip bags, bar and candy wrappers), flexible packaging with plastic seal, woven net and plastic bags, and non-food protective packaging.

These materials are being used to research the development of new recycling processes and generate engineered fuel.

“This kind of waste really adds up. With Package Recycling Amnesty we’re making a commitment to help address it,” McCausland said.

London Drugs also offers in-store recycling for all of the items listed below:

• Electrical and Electronic goods (TVs, VCRs, computers, printers etc.)

• Small Appliances

• Styrofoam, plastic and cardboard packaging from our products

• Cell phones, PDAs and rechargeable batteries

• Alkaline Batteries

• Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s) and fluorescent lights up to 4-ft

• Disposable cameras

• Ink jet cartridges

• Laser cartridges

• Metal film canisters

• Plastic bags

• Insurance plastic folders

See you at their recycling centre near the front of the store.

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Mr. Mikes gives to autism

For the sixth year in a row, Mr. Mikes Steakhouse in Langley took part in the company’s Deeds Well Done program. That meant one local customer was able to select a local registered charity of choice to receive $500. This year, the local money is going to Canucks Autism Network.

Overall, the company will donate $20,000 to 40 local registered charities across Canada as part of this year’s program, which collected more than 1,900 nominations between Nov. 19 and Dec. 31.

All winning charities will receive community-wide recognition, a Mr. Mikes gift card to enjoy a group dinner at their local restaurant, and the $500 to further support their cause.

Since the initiative’s inception in 2012, Deeds Well Done has cumulatively donated more than $80,000 to more than 250 charities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario – directly supporting the causes that matter most to Canadians, said company president Robin Chakrabarti.

Winning charities are determined based on the impact they have on the community and their willingness to go above-and-beyond for those most vulnerable and in need, Chakrabarti said.

And as part of the initiative, guests who nominate a charity receive a $25 gift certificate to thank them for their involvement.

“We continue to be blown away by the care and compassion shown by our guests, staff, and charitable organizations in the communities we operate in across Canada,” Chakrabarti said.

“Deeds Well Done provides us with an opportunity to recognize and give back to the people and organizations that make our communities a better place. Deeds Well Done expands into new communities every year, and it is incredible to see this initiative grow and have an even greater impact.”

Throughout the campaign, each location was encouraged to select a local charity to support through an initiative led by the restaurant.

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