Macy's, Inc. today announced it will begin using recycled paper shopping bags at its Macy's stores, as well as biodegradable packaging for its online shipments, as part of the company's commitment to contribute to a more sustainable environment. The changes will phase-in beginning this month.
- Macy’s will replace the primary handled shopping bag used in its stores with one made from kraft paper with 30 percent recycled material. The new bag also is 100 percent recyclable. It replaces a laminated paper bag that is neither made from recycled content nor recyclable. In total, Macy’s uses more than 43 million handled shopping bags each year.
- In order to provide customers more options when making a purchase, all Macy’s stores will begin carrying reusable tote bags made from 100 percent natural cotton. The totes, created in partnership with Cotton Incorporated, will sell for $3.95, with $1 of the purchase price donated to the National Park Foundation. On Saturday, April 26, the first 100 to 150 customers at every Macy’s store will receive a free reusable tote bag.
- The company’s direct-to-consumer businesses &ndash macys.com, bloomingdales.com and Bloomingdale’s By Mail &ndash will begin using loosefill in-the-box packing material that is 100 percent biodegradable, compostable and recyclable. The material is used to prevent damage to fragile merchandise as it is shipped to customers. Previously, the company used “packing peanuts” (synthetic, non-biodegradable material) for this purpose. The new material is made from raw ingredients including pure corn and potato starch. It breaks down in water in nine minutes and will not harm the environment. Each year, Macy’s, Inc. uses approximately 3.1 million cubic feet of in-the-box packing material.
- Macy’s stores and macys.com will continue to use recyclable folding gift boxes and wrapping tissue made from 100 percent recycled material. Each year, Macy’s uses approximately 48 million folding gift boxes and 255 million sheets of wrapping tissue. Bloomingdale’s wrapping tissue (75 million sheets used each year) will be converted to 100 percent recycled material in spring 2008. In addition, Bloomingdale’s will offer a 100 percent recycled paper and ribbon gift-wrapping option for holiday 2008.
These actions are consistent with Macy’s, Inc.’s corporate strategy to adopt business practices that preserve and protect the environment.
“Our strategies for sustainability include aggressively reducing wasteful behavior, decreasing our use of scarce resources and pursuing environmentally friendly solutions whenever we have the option to do so,” said Macy’s, Inc. Vice Chair Tom Cole. “As a leading national retailer with a significant workforce, we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in improving the environment. And we will do so. But we must operate within the bounds of good business decision-making so that the actions we take are measurable, sustainable and enduring.”
By the end of 2008, the company will be hosting solar energy panels on more than 30 of its stores, primarily in California. Solar power, combined with energy efficiency projects, will reduce grid energy consumption by 40 percent in these stores. Energy consumption per square foot companywide has been reduced by about 9 percent over the past five years. And the amount of recycled paper used in advertising materials increased by about 10-fold in 2007 alone.
Beginning in April, as previously announced, Macy’s will partner with the National Park Foundation to educate shoppers and raise awareness and funds for parks across America. It will be launched during Earth Week in conjunction with Macy’s Turn Over a New Leaf campaign, which will include promoting eco-friendly merchandise and distributing free tree saplings to the first 100 customers in each Macy’s store on April 22.
Bloomingdale’s is partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council to raise awareness and funds through a special electronic gift card (the “little green card”) available at all Bloomingdale’s stores and online.
“At Macy’s, Inc., we believe that contributing to a more sustainable environment is good business practice and the right thing to do for future generations,” Cole said.