Jun 15, 2022
East Jordan Plastics Has Recycled 1,825 Tons of Gardening Containers for One Retailer

Meijer encourages its customers to bring their plastic flowerpots and trays – regardless of where they originally purchased the plants or flowers – to any Meijer Garden Center to recycle.

The retailer began collecting the plastic gardening containers – which primarily come from its three suppliers of annuals, like geraniums or petunias – on recycling carts in its Garden Centers in 2014 and has since contributed to the recycling of 1,825 tons of plastic through East Jordan Plastics, Inc., a South Haven, Mich.-based plastic processing company, according to a news release.

“At Meijer, we integrate environmental sustainability into our daily operations because it makes good business sense and aligns with our values of caring about the communities we serve,” Jeff Lynch, garden center merchant for Meijer, said in a news release. “Gardening is an activity that supports a natural environment where plants can flourish, but unfortunately, the majority are sold in plastic gardening containers. By working with our suppliers and customers to recycle those containers, it’s our way of being more environmentally friendly and moving the industry forward.”

Meijer works with three main suppliers of annual flowers in Michigan: Masterpiece Flower Company in Byron Center, Kalamazoo Flower Group in Kalamazoo and Meadowridge, Inc. in Zeeland, according to the release. The three suppliers provide Meijer with more than 6.5 million plants each year, and work together to consolidate, sort and ship the containers back to East Jordan Plastics, which continues the cycle.

In addition to keeping plastic out of landfill, recycled plastic uses less energy and emits less carbon in its production compared to virgin plastic, according to the release. In fact, the Association of Plastic Recyclers reported that recycled plastic reduced total energy consumption by 88 percent and cut emissions by 71 percent for Polypropylene, which is the plastic used to manufacture plant and flowerpots and trays.

Meijer has made significant strides in recent years to reduce plastic waste. Since 2014, each Meijer store has collection bins inside its front entrance vestibules for customers to deposit clean, dry plastic bags and films, including single-use, bread, dry cleaning, produce and water softener bags. In 2021, Meijer recycled 7.6 million pounds of plastic bags that were sent to its distribution centers for remanufacturing into decking.

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 262 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.