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Sainsbury’s Turns Christmas Cards into FSC Cash

UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has opened Christmas card recycling stations at 500 stores, and is making donations to the Forest Stewardship Council for each card collected.

Customers can bring their cards into the stores until January 15. They can also bring a variety of other waste left over from their holiday celebrations, including wrapping paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastic, The Grocer reports. The company also offers battery recycling stations and collects used clothing for Oxfam.

Every Christmas, UK consumers throw out about 4,500 metric tons of tin foil, 13,350 metric tons of glass and enough wrapping paper to stretch nine times around the equator, according to Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, engineering, energy and environment Paul Crewe, in a blog on the company’s website.

Last year Sainsbury’s recycled nearly 50 metric tons of Christmas cards and donated almost £7,000 to the FSC, the company said.

In October the Waste and Resources Action Programme reported that Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Kraft Foods, among others, reduced their supply chain waste by 8.8 percent compared to a 2009 baseline, putting them ahead of a three-year target of 5 percent.

Sainsbury’s £1 billion ($1.63 bn) sustainability plan, unveiled in October 2011, calls for the company to put operational waste to positive use, and to reduce its own packaging by half compared to 2005 levels, by 2020. The plan also includes a pledge, in the same time frame, to reduce operational carbon emissions by 30 per cent absolute and 65 per cent relative.

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