Our commitment to reducing plastic waste

In April, we annually commemorate Earth Day, underscoring the collaborative endeavor required to forge a healthier environment for the forthcoming generations. This year’s Earth Day theme, “Planet versus Plastics,” spotlights the pervasive issue of plastic pollution, emphasizing the staggering reality that 380 million tons of plastic are generated globally each year, with only a mere 9% ever being recycled.

Addressing this complex challenge demands concerted efforts, and we are steadfast in our commitment to being part of the solution. Recognizing the intrinsic link between planetary health and human well-being, we prioritize initiatives aimed at enhancing both. Our sustainability endeavors are geared towards mitigating environmental factors that exacerbate health disparities.

The proliferation of microplastics and plastic waste poses a significant threat to human health, infiltrating the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume. While acknowledging the indispensability of plastic in ensuring safe care delivery and product quality, we are dedicated to tackling the adverse effects of single-use plastic on the communities we serve. Consequently, we continuously explore innovative solutions that strike a balance between these imperatives.

CVS Health’s initiatives to combat plastic pollution encompass various strategies:

  1. Reducing Plastic Usage: We are actively minimizing or substituting plastic across our operations with more sustainable alternatives wherever feasible.
  2. Enhancing Recyclability: We are exploring novel approaches to enhance recyclability and ensure safer disposal of materials, encouraging our partners and customers to join us in this endeavor.
  3. Innovating Packaging Solutions: Collaborating with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, managed by the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, we are spearheading efforts to reimagine retail bags and pilot innovative programs.
  4. Introducing Sustainable Packaging Options: Initiatives like “Cabinet,” offering refillable and compostable packaging for over-the-counter medications, exemplify our commitment to providing eco-friendly alternatives.
  5. Optimizing Medication Packaging: We are continuously evaluating alternative materials and takeback options to reduce waste associated with plastic medication bottles, with forthcoming tests slated for 2024.
  6. Advancing Specialty Pharmacy: Our endeavors include exploring sustainable alternatives, optimizing shipping efficiencies, and seeking high-performance packaging to minimize our carbon footprint.
  7. Promoting Sustainable Store Brands: Collaborating with suppliers, we are actively enhancing the recyclability of our store brand products. Additionally, our partnership with World Wildlife Fund and ReSource: Plastic aims to elevate sustainability standards across our packaging portfolio.

Reflecting on our 2023 achievements, we are proud to have diverted significant amounts of plastic from landfills through our recycling programs. Moreover, our integration of How2Recycle labeling on store brand products and efforts to eliminate problematic packaging underscore our ongoing commitment to sustainability.

In a significant stride towards sustainability, we transitioned to widely recyclable PET jars for our store brand nut items, exemplifying our dedication to fostering a healthier planet for all.

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