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Zero Waste Groceries: Weavers Way Co-op announces new plan to cut plastic
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Zero Waste Groceries: Weavers Way Co-op announces new plan to cut plastic

Launching on Earth Day, Weavers Way will continue to roll out a new waste reduction program monthly.

Weavers Way Co-op is breaking grocer norms with their efforts to move towards zero waste.

With the help of the Weavers Way Plastic Reduction Task Force, the cooperative grocery store is introducing a container deposit program.

Starting April 22nd, in honor of Earth Day, Weavers Way will begin offering reusable, quart-sized glass soup jars to customers at all four of their locations. Upon purchasing the soup, a $2 deposit covering the cost of the jar will be applied. Once the jar is cleaned and returned to be sanitized, the deposit will be returned to the buyer.

Weavers Way Plastic
Weavers Way Program flyer

The new jars will replace over 2,000 plastic containers sold each month – a huge win for fighting plastic!

Weavers Way mission to reduce plastic waste

After the initial rollout and expansion, Weavers Way will continue to offer a new plastic-reducing swap to customers each month. While some of these may involve container take-backs, others will involve swaps to less harmful single-use packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard.

Other plastic reducing programs are being expanded. While the store’s Ambler location has been collecting used glass yogurt jars from Wholesome Dairy Farms, the Mt. Airy location has begun. Although deposits are not currently collected on these jars (instead using the honor system), this may change due to a pandemic-related glass shortage.

Future measures may include replacing plastic cheese packaging for paper wrappers, switching to paper pastry boxes, and more.

Alisa Shargorodsky, founder of Echo Systems and a member of the Plastic Reduction Task Force, has been partnering with Weavers Way to find creative zero-waste solutions including the new program.

Shargorodsky stresses the importance of public participation to the program’s success. “We can create new programs all day long, but if people don’t use them, then it’s fruitless,” she says. If the program receives enough support, Weavers Way hopes to continue offering new ways for customers to reduce waste in the future.

The future of sustainable grocery shopping

Like Tiffin, the Indian restaurant chain which just introduced a new reusable container program, Weavers Way has long hoped to put more sustainability measures into action — but the costs and challenges of doing so have made it difficult to get started. With the pieces finally in place, the hope is that the waste reduction program can continue to expand in the future.

The best part? Anyone can participate in the program; you don’t have to be a Co-op member to shop. Learn more about Weavers Way and membership here.

Image courtesy: Echo Systems


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Sophie Brous
Sophie Brous is an editorial intern at Green Philly. Born and raised in NYC, she now attends Haverford College, where she majors in linguistics. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring cities, making arts and crafts, and finding ways to live a greener lifestyle. View all posts by Sophie Brous

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