Paring Down Single-Use Plastics at The Home Depot

The Home Depot / 3 min read

The name says it all. Single-use plastics are created to serve a limited purpose. They are inexpensive and convenient. However, while many single-use plastics can be recycled, items like straws, lids, bottles and plastic bags often end up in landfills. As scientists continue to study the impact plastic has on our environment, particularly our oceans, we recognize the importance of reducing single-use plastics wherever we can.

We’re approaching plastic reduction in a few ways.

  • We’re working to eliminate waste through a variety of Circular Economy initiatives such as collecting used plant containers from customers for reuse by our suppliers.
  • In our private brands packaging, we’re swapping plastics and other materials for biodegradable materials like molded pulp and paper.
  • We are partnering with suppliers to improve products and packaging. In 2019, those efforts eliminated 1.44M pounds of plastic and replaced another 7.73M pounds of virgin plastic with recycled plastic.
Plant Pot Recycling

Our multi-year partnership with suppliers continues to reduce virgin plastic in the products we sell. In 2020, more than 200 products were redesigned to shrink single-use plastics, building on the remarkable progress that was made in 2019. Here’s a sampling of the success.

Over 100M pounds of virgin plastic was replaced with recycled plastic in 2020.

1. American Plastics®
The blue ribbon for plastic reduction goes to American Plastics for their “4R” initiative: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, which in 2020, helped the company replace 100M pounds of virgin plastic with recycled plastic in products like storage totes.

2. QEP®
By taking away virgin plastic in packaging for its tile and carpet tools, QEP removed 78,200 pounds of plastic from its manufacturing stream. In addition, the company added 5% re-ground plastic in tile spacers, converting 26,700 pounds of virgin plastic to recycled.

3. Liberty Hardware®
Using less plastic in shower door hardware enabled Liberty Hardware to remove 4,827 pounds of plastic from its products in 2020.

4. BEHR® Paint
BEHR is making paints greener inside and out by reducing certain chemicals and converting paint cans to 100% recycled plastic. In 2021, BEHR introduced the first 100% recyclable paint can.

5. King of Fans®
A change of plastic blister packaging to cardboard for ceiling fan remote controls removed 35,313 pounds of virgin plastic from King of Fans products.

6. 3M
By converting packaging to recycled plastic for respirator masks, Command Hanging Solutions and Scotch® Mounting Strips, the company avoided using 20,450 pounds of virgin plastic.

+ 3M’s Scotch Painter’s Tape is made using water-based materials or renewable natural rubber and paper from responsibly managed forests. And the tape is produced in factories that use renewable energy.