METRO challenges Ontario students to go waste-free with their lunches -
Grocer announces exciting new environmental initiatives as part of the Green
Apple School Program

TORONTO, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario students will be challenged to go "waste-free" this year as Metro and the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) partner to launch the Waste Free Lunch Challenge in schools across the province. The program provides students and teachers with the tools they need to go "waste-free."

Aimed at helping schools reduce the amount of garbage they produce while educating students, staff and parents in grades 4, 5 and 6 about waste reduction, the program will recognize students and educators that participate and demonstrate their understanding of the environmental consequences of waste. Metro will contribute $300,000 to this program that will be launched in October.

"Metro believes in teaching students to be environmentally responsible and is thrilled to extend its environmental commitment by participating in initiatives such as the Waste Free Lunch Challenge," said Johanne Choinière, Senior Vice President, Metro Ontario, "Educating students on how they can make a difference in their community acts as the foundation for environmental responsibility."

A major source of waste in Ontario, the average student's lunch generates an estimated 30 kilograms of waste each year. "Students are our next leaders, improving their environmental consciousness and helping them change their habits is key," said Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario. "The Recycling Council of Ontario is pleased to partner with Metro Ontario to help students, teachers and parents become more aware of the garbage produced during the average lunch hour and challenge them to go waste-free."

The Green Apple School Program is back for a second year

Metro's decision to continue educating and investing in greening Ontario's schools comes on the heels of the Metro Green Apple School Program's successful inaugural year. Launched in September 2009, the Green Apple School Program encourages elementary and secondary schools to participate in conservation and healthy living. Metro awarded 700 grants of $1,000 each to Ontario schools that demonstrated how their proposals would positively impact their school or community.

Schools submitted projects that ranged from recycling and composting programs to installing solar panels on the roof of a school. Due to the positive response garnered from schools, Metro will continue the Green Apple School Program during the 2010-2011 school year with a commitment of up to $2 million nationally.

"The Green Apple School Program was our first step in showcasing the creativity and innovation Ontario students have when it comes to helping our environment," continued Choinière. "These programs show students that even small changes can have an impact on our environmental footprint."

About The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) Waste Free Lunch Challenge

The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) Waste Free Lunch Challenge aims to support educators and students to reduce waste generated from school lunches. In 2007, RCO implemented a Waste Free Lunch Challenge which aimed to have schools and/or classrooms to host one waste free lunch during the week. With more than 1,700 registered classes, 55,000 students, 300 schools and 30 different school boards participating the challenge was a smash success. In 2010, RCO will reprise the Waste Free Lunch Challenge during Waste Reduction Week (October 17-23, 2010) and develop an ongoing program for future years.

About Metro

Metro is a Canadian company with annual sales of over $11 billion and over 65,000 employees and is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Quebec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores mainly under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.


For further information: For further information: or interview opportunities: Natalie Valentini, Metro Ontario Inc., (416) 234-6190,; Gabrielle Totesau, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 934-8035,

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