ALEXANDRIA, Va., and STAMFORD, Conn. (Oct. 16, 2017) – Keep America Beautiful and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) have partnered to produce the new resource, “Being a Good Neighbor: A Guide to Reducing Litter, Managing Trash and Encouraging Recycling.”
The guide provides quick and easy tips for convenience stores to improve their customers’ experience, help the environment and, ultimately, enhance their reputation and bottom line. It includes information from Keep America Beautiful’s landmark “Litter in America” research from 2009—comprised of the “National Visible Litter Survey” and “Litter Cost Study”—as well as from jointly developed consumer and retailer surveys and audits conducted this year by NACS and Keep America Beautiful.
The guide includes a checklist to examine litter management practices at convenience stores as well as practical tips to help retailers reduce and ultimately eliminate litter in and around their stores. It also provides recommendations for recycling bin and trash receptacle placements to help make proper disposal of packaging items easy and accessible. And retailers also share techniques to engage employees, customers and the greater community.
“With convenience stores comprising 34% of all retailer business, convenience store operators can play an instrumental role in providing customers with convenient trash and recycling containers to lessen litter and improve recycling at their locations,” said Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful’s senior vice president, recycling. “Keep America Beautiful is pleased to team up with the NACS to provide best practices for managing trash and recycling with the new ‘Being a Good Neighbor’ guide.”
According to Keep America Beautiful research, the most people properly dispose of trash in receptacles. But nearly one in five disposals (17%) ends up as litter. Packaging, including fast food, snack, beverage and tobacco packaging, comprises nearly half (47%) of items in the “visible” litter stream, according to Keep America Beautiful research.
Meanwhile, NACS research shows that consumers overwhelmingly say that convenience store appearance is important: 84% of consumers fueling up say cleanliness of the store is an important factor when considering whether they will shop at a particular store. The new resource guide shares best practices that help retailers manage waste to keep their properties clean, including placement and design of trash receptacles.
“Litter impacts how people perceive your brand, even if they litter a cup with your logo on it somewhere else,” said Lisa Dell’Alba, one of the many retailers surveyed for the guide. Dell’Alba is president & CEO of Square One Markets (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and a member of the NACS Board of Directors.
Convenience stores spend more than $600 per store per month for recycling and trash collection programs—or about $1.3 billion industry-wide on an annual basis. But the payoff is worth the expense: U.S. convenience stores continue to grow their foodservice sales, which climbed 12.9% to $49 billion in 2016, per NACS data.
“Keep America Beautiful has been the nation’s steward for litter prevention for nearly 65 years. We recognize that foodservice and product packaging is a significant part of the litter stream, and we’re pleased to partner on this guide to help convenience stores and their customers reduce litter. It’s good for the environment and good for the community, and ultimately good for business because consumers support businesses that support the communities they serve,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.
To download a copy of “Being a Good Neighbor: A Guide to Reducing Litter, Managing Trash and Encouraging Recycling,” go to www.convenience.org/kab.
NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailers and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a community that is clean, green and beautiful, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change—steeped in education, research and behavioral science—is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.