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Walmart expo spurs sustainable end-cap

Walmart collaborates with supplier of cellulose-based packaging material and Lucky Budda Beer to design a sturdy, recyclable end cap for select Walmart stores.

Pw 82036 Budda

In April 2014, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon invited top executives from major suppliers to the company’s Sustainable Packaging Expo and challenged them to collaborate to explore more sustainable practices and products. A number of suppliers made commitments; among them were goals to advance standards for more sustainable in-store marketing materials and point-of-purchase displays.

As a result of this challenge, Walmart, Lucky Buddha Beer—the second fastest-growing import beer brand in U.S. supermarkets—and Noble Environmental Technologies collaborated to create sustainable end-cap retail displays made with Noble’s ECOR® bio-based material that will be placed in select Walmart stores.

“In 2005, Walmart took on the three aspirational sustainability goals that encompass all areas of our operations and products, including energy, waste, and sustainable products,” says Manuel Gomez, Vice President of Sustainability for Wal-Mart Stores. “Since those goals were communicated, we’ve aggressively worked to address waste in our own operations as well as in the products we sell and associated packaging. That’s why we’re pleased Lucky Buddha Beer has worked with Noble Environmental Technologies to develop this sustainable point-of-purchase display that will appear in select U.S. Walmart stores and will support our commitment to reach zero waste to landfill by 2025 in our operations.”

ECOR is a sustainable, cellulose fiber-based material developed by Noble and the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is non-toxic, VOC-free, made from 100% recycled materials, and 100% certified bio-based. The material was designed as an alternative to traditional wood, plywood, corrugated, and plastics. Traditional displays in the retail environment are made from corrugated cardboard, which Noble says frays quickly and requires replacement often, while displays made from ECOR can last over a year without breaking down or fraying. The end-cap displays for Lucky Budda are manufactured by PackageOne, Inc.

Says Kevin Swadish, CEO of Lucky Budda importer Sage Beverages, “We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with Walmart to showcase Lucky Buddha Beer inside their stores on what we believe is a sustainable and durable flat-pack point-of-purchase display.”

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