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Support Your Community

Committed to Waste Reduction

It’s no secret that operating a grocery store creates waste, but we’re committed to doing our part to reduce it. Learn about how we’re working to reduce our waste to landfills, mitigate and divert food waste, and create more opportunities for recycling.

An image showing an individual placing an empty plastic container in a designated recycling bin.

We opened our first New Seasons Market location in 2000 with a commitment to being good stewards of our resources; in fact, we've never offered plastic shopping bags and have been composting since day one to reduce waste. And all these years later, we continue to focus on waste reduction as one of the best solutions to improving our environmental impact and furthering our work of being good stewards of our planet and communities.    

From training, operations, and outreach to innovations in reuse and circularity, we're constantly seeking new ways to reduce waste—including our circular recycling program and our gleaning program, which donates produce that doesn't meet the New Seasons seal of approval to local farmers for chicken and hog feed. We also cultivate sustainable partnerships in our communities by establishing relationships with partners who benefit from the waste that results from our operations.   

While we’ve made great strides, waste reduction is a never-ending pursuit, and we take great pride in the journey to our goals because we know the effort is always worth it—whether it's landfill diversion, minimizing food waste, or reducing and recycling single-use plastic.   

By working together, a more sustainable future is possible. 

New Seasons Senior Manager of Sustainability, Athena Petty, shown carrying two large bags of recyclables across a parking lot.

To give you a more in-depth look at some of the many things we’re doing to reduce waste at New Seasons, we reached out to Athena Petty, our Senior Manager of Sustainability, to give us all the details:   

What is New Seasons doing to reduce food waste?   
Reducing food waste has immense potential to solve climate change, but making meaningful progress takes time and commitment. In partnership with the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitmentwe've set a long-term goal of reducing our food waste by 50% by 2030 (using a 2020 baseline) and continue to learn from others in our industry to test ideas, technologies, and systems improvements for the most significant impact.   

What is New Seasons doing to reduce single-use plastic?   
We recognize the waste that results from packaging in our stores and continue to establish infrastructure to minimize the environmental harm created by that waste. Below are two examples of how New Seasons Market is helping reduce waste in our community:    

#1 PET Circular Recycling Program    
Packaging is a key component of our operational waste reduction focus. We developed sustainable packaging standards to help us make decisions regarding the complex world of packaging. Clamshells, one of our highest volume packages, have been an area of concern for us, so in April of 2022, we launched our circular recycling program to create a system where we accept clean, clear #1 PET plastics in our stores from customers and community members, and work with partners both up and downstream in our supply chain to produce recycled material for our 100% post-consumer recycled PET plastic containers. Since the program's inception, we have recycled over 241,865 lbsThat's over 2.6 million items previously destined for the landfill! Once recycled, the #1 PET is then converted into the packaging in our delis, resulting in a positive environmental balance. 

Results to Date  
(17 months – August 2022 through January 2024) 

  • Recycled 241,865 lbs of PET thermoforms  
  • Manufactured 102,003 lbs of 100% PCR PET thermoform packaging for New Seasons 
  • Diverted 2,600,515 thermoforms from the landfill (estimated) 


Bi-Annual Recycling Events    
We partner with local organization James Recycling to conduct a bi-annual community recycling event with various recycling organizations throughout the city. This allows customers to bring in materials they can't recycle at home. These events draw hundreds of people and help divert thousands of pounds of materials from our landfills.     

What are some of New Seasons’ goals for further waste reduction?   
Each year, we set short-term goals towards our long-term goals. In 2023, we diverted 66% of our total waste from landfills through our partnerships with local gleaning partners focused on food access and equity, as well as composters and recyclers committed to giving the material life beyond our doors.    

This year, we're committed to increasing that goal to 68% landfill diversion!   

Long-Term Goals     

  • By 2030, reduce food waste by 50% over 2020     

  • Increase customer ability to recycle hard-to-recycle materials    

  • Continuing to improve the environmental performance of our packaging   


Recycle with Ease

Our circular packaging program allows us to turn hard-to-recycle plastic items into grab-and-go containers with the help of trusted partners.

READ THE BLOG

Various clean plastic containers on a counter top sitting in front of a reusable shopping bag.
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Sustainability