STORE SPACES

Fresh & Easy joins EPA’s Greenchill partnership

BY CSA STAFF

El Segundo, Calif. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, voluntarily committing to reduce refrigerant emissions to minimize the impact on climate change and protect the ozone layer.

According to GreenChill, the industry average for refrigerant leakage is 25%. Fresh & Easy’s current leak rate is well under 10% due to advanced refrigeration technologies and the company’s use of a refrigeration system alarm center and leak detection program to actively monitor and respond to refrigerant leaks quickly.

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Canadian study: Reusable shopping bags may be unhealthy

BY CSA STAFF

Edmonton, Ontario New research funded by the Environment and Plastics Industry Council suggested that while reusable shopping bags may help save the environment, they pose a public health risk.

According to an article in The Calgary Herald, the study, called “A Microbiological Study of Reusable Grocery Bags,” found that the bags contained unacceptably high levels of bacterial, yeast, mold and coliform counts. Some bags contained fecal matter.

“The main risk is food poisoning,” said Richard Summerbell, director of research at Sporometrics, a Toronto-based environmental microbiology laboratory, who evaluated the study results.

The warm, dark, folded interiors of bags exposed to food and liquid spills are breeding grounds for bacteria, yeast, mold and coliforms and can be transferred from bag to bag by supermarket staff, he warned.

Twenty-five reusable bags were tested in March and April — including 23 used bags obtained from shoppers and two bags two and three years old. Four never-used bags were also tested as control samples. Single-use plastic shopping bags were also swabbed.

Click here to access the study.

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Costco to tap into solar power in N.J.

BY CSA STAFF

Hazlet, N.J. Costco will outfit its store in Hazlet, N.J., with a 500-kilowatt air-conditioning system run by solar power.

The chain has selected Solar Power, Roseville, Calif, to design and install the system, which will utilize the company’s new Solyndra panels. In a departure from traditional silicon-based technology, the Solyndra panels feature cylindrical modules that capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, indirect, and reflected sunlight from the roof’s surface into electricity. The installation will be the single largest commercial PV solar system to date that incorporates Solyndra panels, according to the supplier.

The system at Costco will utilize 3,300 Solyndra panels and an advanced energy inverter.

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