Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is collecting cardboard from some of its stores, to be turned into boxes for its private-label take-and-bake pizzas, reports Supermarket News.
The effort should keep 8,600 tons of cardboard waste from landfills, while saving 125,000 trees and 40 million gallons of water, Wal-Mart said.
“We’ve totally and literally closed the loop using a retailer’s own boxes to go through a paper mill and then to make corrugated boxes out of those same things again is something that’s the future,” Myles Cohen, president of the recycling division for Pratt Industries, told Supermarket News.
First, the cardboard waste is assembled into bales, then sent to Pratt Industries, which turns the cardboard into pulp. Then, it’s reformed into liner board, tested for contaminants and finally turned into cardboard and assembled into boxes.
Wal-Mart employees also are collecting polystyrene from stores, and shipping the foam off for eventual recycling into picture and poster frames, reports the Northwest Arkansas News.
Wal-Mart has said it wants to eliminate all packaging waste by reducing, recycling or reusing everything that comes into its 4,100 American stores by 2025, and for Asda, its British operation, the target is 2010.
In 2008, Wal-Mart recycled 180 million pounds of paper, plastic, aluminum and other items and 2.5 million tons of cardboard.