Reduce Non-Recycled Waste in Retail Stores


Target: Glenn K. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Gap Inc.

Goal: Encourage retail stores to reduce waste production and recycle unnecessary packaging

Packaging waste is an issue for nearly every retail operation. Stores are expected to ship, receive, pack, unpack, display, and wrap goods in a way that their customers find appealing. However, a startling amount of retail waste still ends up in dumpsters and landfills across the country. Force retail stores to reduce packaging waste and recycle excess materials as much as possible.

Large retail chains like Gap Inc. have struggled to reduce waste and their environmental footprint. Although Gap Inc. completed a “green makeover” in their corporate headquarters’ offices, many local stores around the country have not followed suit. There are over 3,400 Gap Inc. stores around the world.

Retailers must demand that their suppliers use recycled packaging. Retailers can often sell recycled materials to an industrial recycler to offset some of the costs associated with a sustainable transition. Retail stores that exist inside of malls should coordinate with the other mall stores to make the recycled waste process as streamlined and cost effective as possible.

Sign the below petition to urge large retail chains like Gap Inc. to make recyclable waste a priority. Transforming the corporate headquarters is not enough; it’s only one solution of a large-scale problem. Corporate leaders must demand their employees follow environmentally sustainable recycling practices on the local level to make a significant impact around the country.


Dear Mr. Murphy,

Thank you for taking the first steps to making your retail chain environmentally sustainable. Too frequently, retail waste, including plastic bags, shipping boxes, and display materials end up in landfills because employees do not make recycling a priority. The more stores that a corporate retailer has, the greater the responsibility.

I am urging you to work with your local retail leaders around the country and overseas to reduce waste in every step of the retail process. You can’t exclusively blame the manufacturers, the suppliers, the shippers, or the service staff for improper waste management.  Unnecessary waste exists in every part of retail.

Please implement corporation-wide policies that eliminate unnecessary shipping materials and that reuse packaging materials whenever possible. Encourage your customers to forego plastic shopping bags when convenient.  And donate old merchandise and decor to charities or schools, rather than tossing it in the trash. Not only will these practices save your company money over time, but they’ll also reduce the overall environmental impact of your corporation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kevin Harber via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. The rich seem to get away with everything! This too!

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