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New ‘green’ programs
Food City announces new methods of improving the supermarket chain’s environmental impact


Food City hopes to change how customers shop by augmenting their established “green” outlook. They are joining other corporations in the growing trend to decrease negative impact on the environment.

Food City has announced the inception of paperless coupons and reusable grocery bags. Instead of coupon clipping, paperless coupons allow the store to keep track of customer savings. Coupons are posted on shelves next to sale items. If a customer buys the item, the discount is automatically taken off at the register.

“It’s exactly like a regular coupon except you don’t have any handling,” said Tom Hembree, senior vice president of marketing at Food City.

After a successful testing period in Abingdon, Va., paperless coupons are now available at all Food City locations.

Food City hopes that their new reusable grocery bags will decrease the use of the current plastic bags used in their stores. “By offering these Earth-friendly bags, we hope to encourage consumers and other businesses to preserve and protect our environment and to use our natural resources wisely,” said Steven Smith, Food City president and CEO, in a press release Jan. 8.

In the press release, Food City cited a Time Magazine article that said 21,000 barrels of oil were used daily to produce plastic bags. “It’s just really a problem with the landfills and that kind of thing because it takes years and years for them to go away. This bag will save you from using plastic bags and will keep them from going in the landfills,” Hembree said.

The release also specifies that the reusable bags are made from recycled plastic and are machine washable. The reusable bags are about twice as big as a regular plastic bag and feature a rigid bottom and sturdy handles.

“They’re real handy to have and they’re strong; you can use them for years,” Hembree added. Customers can purchase reusable bags for 99 cents each and can then bring them back into the store for each shopping visit.

Food City will continue the plastic bag recycling program that has been in place in its stores for several years.

Food City’s history of environmental responsibility includes recycling cardboard and plastic its pallets of groceries are wrapped in and recycling all the oil used by the tractor-trailers that deliver its groceries. They also have changed their refrigeration systems to make them more environmentally friendly, cutting out harmful gases.

“We’ve been recycling for year and years,” Hembree said.

“We’re always trying to look for ways to help the environment,” he added.

 

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