I'm thrilled to announce that our new Whole Foods Market responsible packaging guidelines for nutritional supplements and personal care products went into effect on September 1st! Creating these guidelines has been a long time (2+ years) in the works, and we are walking our talk by switching to a 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content bottle for several store-brand supplements. Our 365 brand body care items are also in 50% PCR content HDPE (high-density polyethylene) bottles as well.
Look for the leaf symbol on our Whole Foods Market brand supplements, which indicates that the bottles are made from 100% PCR PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic. We expect to have all of our house-brand Whole Foods Market supplement products switched to PCR packaging by late 2010.
As a leader in sustainability, we know that post consumer waste recycled materials are the way to go. They require less energy and water to produce, and they generate far fewer greenhouse gases, while diverting reusable materials out of the landfill and reducing reliance on virgin petrochemicals.
In developing our new responsible packaging guidelines for nutritional supplements and personal care products, my team worked with 25 of our largest Whole Body product suppliers. The guidelines mandate that Whole Body suppliers reduce the use of plastic in product packaging, encourage the switch to glass when possible and limit acceptable packaging materials to those that are the most recyclable and/or feature the highest possible recycled content. We also utilized packaging experts in plastic, glass and paper mediums to help us define the most responsible path for product suppliers to take when designing their packaging.
All new Whole Body department suppliers must meet the packaging guidelines before their products can be sold in our stores. All current Whole Body vendors are encouraged to change their packaging to fit the new guidelines as soon as operationally possible.
It's really been great to see how responsive our vendors have been in making changes to provide even more green options for our customers. And even more exciting still is that through the development process, we've been able to create a forum for vendors to share best practices, helping the whole industry move forward with the environment top of mind.
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped get us to this point, and let's all keep moving forward together. Keep any eye out for the leaf!