WINCHESTER, Va. and BOISE, Idaho — Trex Company and Albertsons Companies are elevating their shared commitment to sustainability with a special recycling effort to divert plastic waste from landfills, the companies announced.
Albertsons, which operates nearly 1,700 pharmacies, has collected more than 54,000 pounds of bulk medication dispensing bottles, the contents of which are used to fill individual prescriptions. Trex then recycles the plastic bottles to produce a wood-alternative, environmentally-friendly composite decking. The new effort expands upon a decades-long partnership in which Albertsons has contributed more than 200 million pounds of recycled plastic film – the equivalent of more than 5,000 truckloads — to the NexTrex plastic film recycling program for retailers and consumers.
“Our associates throughout our stores and pharmacies have championed this effort and are excited that these plastic bottles will have a second life,” said Erin Shaal, Senior Director of Pharmacy Procurement. “Pharmacists and Pharmacy Associates at participating locations are meticulously prepping the bottles for recycling. We’re very thankful for this level of dedication and excited to play a role in our company’s broader commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.”
The Trex medication bottle recycling program launched at ACME pharmacies along the East Coast, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions pharmacies in Southern California, and Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies in Oregon and Southern Washington. Jewel-Osco pharmacies in the Chicago area also participate in medication bottle recycling.
“NexTrex is an integral component to Trex’s sourcing efforts and Albertsons Cos. is one of our original and most dedicated retail partners,” said Dave Heglas, senior director, supply chain excellence for Trex Company. “They aren’t content with simply participating. Rather, they advance their commitment and find new ways to make a difference.”
The Trex transformation
The plastic that Albertsons Cos. recycles through the NexTrex program is shipped to Trex’s manufacturing facilities in Winchester, Va., and Fernley, Nev. Each year, Trex uses approximately 400 million pounds of recycled plastic film—including more than 1.5 billion plastic bags—in the making of its decking, which is comprised of 95% recycled content.
While the new recycling program is exclusively for bulk pharmacy-use bottles, Albertsons Cos. and Trex have offered consumers a convenient way to recycle plastic bags and wraps at stores for many years. In-store recycling is more important than ever as recycling in America becomes increasingly difficult due to changes in what is accepted by curbside recycling programs. The entire Albertsons Cos. family of more than 20 well-known banners participates in the program, with the majority of stores serving as drop-off locations for customers. Customers can check the bin at their local store or review this list of accepted materials to learn what can be put in the in-store bins. (Please consult local stores directly for participation and COVID-19 restriction information.)
The NexTrex program offers an easy-to-execute, end-use solution for recycling plastic bags and wraps. The program is available through approximately 32,000 stores across the United States and Canada, including major national chains as well as regional and specialty retailers. Trex provides retail participants with instructional videos, promotional materials, and a list of qualifying recyclable materials, which include everyday plastic items such as grocery and retail bags, bread bags, case overwraps, and more.