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Whole Foods targets plastics in new personal-care packaging guidelines

Packaging guidelines that mandate 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 easily reused or recycled, and/or feature the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content became effective at retailer Whole Foods Market (Austin, TX) Sept. 1, 2010.

(Austin, TX) Sept. 1, 2010. The new "responsible packaging guidelines" apply to the company's more than 2100 body-care and supplement suppliers companywide. Whole Foods said in an attempt to spearhead the change, it has switched to PCR content bottles for several of its store-brand supplements and body-care products.

Whole Foods said it developed the guidelines in cooperation with its vendors, beginning work in the summer of 2008, with 25 of its largest personal care product suppliers. Effective September, Whole Foods says all new body care and supplement suppliers must meet the packaging guidelines before their products can be sold in the company's more than 300 locations across the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

In a release, Jeremiah McElwee, global Whole Body coordinator for Whole Foods Market, said that his company is promoting PCR-content bottles on the basis that, Whole Foods believes they require "less energy and water to produce and generate far fewer greenhouse gases, while diverting reusable materials out of the landfill and reducing reliance on virgin plastics."

Whole Food's in-house switch to PCR bottles began in September 2009, and the company expects to switch all of its house-brand Whole Body products, which now use polyethylene terephthalate (PET), to an undisclosed 100% PCR plastic by late 2010. [email protected]

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