Friday, April 17th, 2009

Shopping Carts: Seeing Red, Going Green

I like to shop – some days. Shopping to me is to have a list prepared, get in, get out and get home.  After a conversation with Bemis Manufacturing, one of our member companies, a store I frequent will certainly be getting a second look.

In talking with my colleague at Bemis, he asked if I had noticed anything different about the red shopping carts at Target.  I said no.  I can’t say I spend a lot of time looking at their shopping carts or any others for that matter. Well, he suggested that next time I do – particularly if the store is a newer one in Target’s chain.

 When I asked why, he explained that Bemis is working with the retailer on providing a newer, greener design for their red shopping carts. The down and dirty is that now when one of the older shopping carts gets to the end of its useful life, it is simply dismantled – the metal parts and plastic are separated – and the plastic is shipped back to Bemis for recycling into a newly designed, lighter weight, all-plastic cart comprised of  polycarbonate, high density polyethylene (HDPE), nylon, and semi-crystalline polyester. The “new” recycled cart is then sent back to individual Target stores as they transition from the old style metal carts.  

In addition to this end-of-life recycling benefit, the all-plastic cart, which has no sharp edges and is easier to turn, doesn’t have the potential for damage (like this) when wheeled out to the parking lot!

Very cool, very resourceful, very on target! The next time I go shopping, I will have to take a closer look at those red shopping carts.

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