Supermarket chain Meijer unveils beach and water cleaning devices | Economy


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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WNEM) — Midwestern staple Meijer is partnering with the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Program to help clean up local beaches and waterways.

The initiative supports the largest development of environmentally friendly, remote-controlled devices in several Great Lakes states.

“It’s a privilege to live near the Great Lakes, which inherently comes with a responsibility to protect them,” said Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes. “Helping to conserve these invaluable waterways is important to the well-being of our ecosystems, our economy and the communities we serve. Meijer has a long tradition of environmental stewardship, and we are delighted to partner with CGLR, as the impact of these initiatives will ultimately benefit generations to come.

Beginning in August, Meijer and CGLR are conducting cleanup projects on beaches in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin with two innovative devices.

The BeBot, a remote-controlled beach cleaning robot, cleans 32,000 square feet per hour. The machine rakes the sand without harming the environment and collects rubbish and other waste such as bottles, cans, food packaging and cigarette butts in a basket.

The Pixie Drone can be used in water and can collect up to 200 pounds of material per use. The drone can navigate marinas and other waterways to collect trash and other debris floating on the service. The robot can also collect data such as temperature, pH, salinity, turbidity and dissolved oxygen.

Representatives from Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute will operate the equipment.

“Microplastics have become one of the most pressing issues facing our waterways, both in the Great Lakes and globally; we are both thrilled and honored to be part of Meijer’s initiative to fund new technologies to address this problem,” said Dr. Al Steinman, Allen and Helen Hunting Research Professor at GVSU-AWRI. “Resolving the dilemma of microplastics is essential, not only for the ecology of our local waters, but also for the economy of our coastal communities, who visit and recreate on our beaches and lakes in the hope that they are clean and free of pollutants. The BeBot and the Pixie Drone will help meet these expectations. »

The BeBot and Pixie drones were funded by a $1 million donation from Meijer earlier this year.

“The Great Lakes, which are at the heart of the binational Great Lakes Economic Region, are a natural resource of global significance,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of CGLR. “By partnering with companies like Meijer, who share CGLR’s strong commitment to building the future sustainability and economy of the region today, we are able to keep our beaches and waterways clean and litter-free. plastics as we strive to ensure the materials we use as consumers never become waste by embracing a circular economy mindset in the region.

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