Shaw's Supermarket

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2007 at 11:06am CDT by 9941e2a6

Company: Shaw's Supermarket

Category: Other

I was in the process of depositing my used plastic bags into the recycling bin, when an employee inadvertently let it slip that all the "recycled" plastic bags are thrown in the dumpster with the rest of the trash.

Another Shaw's employee on the scene sheepishly confirmed that the bags from the recycled bin are disposed of along with the rest of the trash.

This second employee remarked to the first "Dude, you just told our secret..."

The bin is clearly marked”for plastic bags” with the recycling logo and is situated in the recycling area.

At the time, I did not address the store manager as it would be obvious how I found out about this disposal policy.

The employee(s) looked horrified when they saw my reaction and I was concerned that they might be fired.

I attempted to look through Shaw's trash for evidence myself, but their dumpster is enormous...and sealed to the back of the building.

I could not get access to it.

If this is what Shaw’s Supermarket considers “recycling” the used plastic trash bags, I am furious.

One of the main reasons that I shop at Shaw’s is because they have a drop off bin for used plastic bags.

I make the effort to save the bags and carry them around in my car specifically because I don’t want to throw them into the landfill.

It is understandable why Shaw’s would claim that they recycle plastic bags and provide a marked bin. It is good for community relations and it encourages consumers to use plastic bags rather than ask for (the more expensive) paper bags.

But it is deceptive to lead consumers to believe they are recycling, if they are not.

There is also a Sudbury Farms in the area. They provide a bin for plastic bags located in the recycling area, but it is unmarked. It does not claim to be recycling plastic bags, although due to the location one is lead to believe they are.

Is there any way to confirm that Supermarkets are recycling as they claim? Can a consumer request the name of the recycling service that Shaw’s retains to collect and/or process all the bags they claim to be recycling for their customers?

Is there any agency that will oversee or confirm?

Thank you.


2 Comments

87f16a6d, 2009-01-30, 11:42AM CST

i was horrified when i read this posting about Shaw's throwing away the plastic bags. i really want to get to the bottom of this. which store did you go to where the employees said this to you?

d6bdfeb2, 2010-01-06, 01:19AM CST

I'd actually like to rebut this claim. I'm an employee at Shaw's in Sudbury, MA (which seems to be the one you went to, seeing as you cited Sudbury Farms being close by), and while, yes, we formerly disposed of recycled plastic bags in the garbage, they now are actually recycled. Each night we gather the bag in the recycling receptacle, and bring it to one of the trucks in the loading bay. This truck then brings it to corporate headquarters, where the plastic is properly recycled. The bags from the can/bottle refund machines go here, too, in case you were curious.

Hope this answers your questions!

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