Top Canadian grocery stores and Walmart will now require their suppliers to use PET for clamshell thermoformed packaging in an effort to boost sustainability. The move mirrors one that many U.S. manufacturers and retailers, including Home Depot and Target, have recently agreed to.
"Right now, there are 5.8 billion pounds of [thermoformed] packaging going into landfills in North America each year," said Guy McGuffin, vice president of sustainable packaging for Walmart Canada, Plastics News noted. "The idea is to move away from materials that are not easily recycled and into materials that are more easily recycled."
The company plans to recover an estimated 5.8 billion pounds of material, McGuffin added.
According to the source, the grocers, including Safeway Canada, Metro and Sobeys, prefer PET because it's easily recyclable. When PET is unavailable, the retailers will encourage polystyrene.
In the U.S., Target and Home Depot have both backed away from the use of clamshell packaging. Additionally, Target has made an effort to reduce packaging on products such as its in-house brand of yogurt, socks and light bulbs.