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Bob's Red Mill Partners with Surfrider Foundation

Bob’s Red Mill Partners with 

Surfrider Foundation

HOTYB Cigarette Canister Sponsor Program

We just added a new way to love Bob’s Red Mill! We love local PNW Bob’s Red Mill for many reasons — from the way they are consciously running their business and producing  their products, to their amazing cafeteria and quality delicious foods, and now, they are a part of our partner family by sponsoring our HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS (HOTYB) campaign.

The Surfrider Foundation Portland Chapter’s Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) program aims to educate, raise awareness and reduce cigarette butt litter in the Portland Metro region. We take a proactive approach in stopping the flow of cigarette butt litter from sidewalks to storm drains, waterways and ultimately to our ocean, by placing cigarette butt canisters in heavy smoking use pedestrian areas.

Here’s what we know about the environmental impact of Cigarette butts:  With an estimated 5 TRILLION cigarette butts being discarded each year, they are the most littered item in the world. Filters are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic, which DOES NOT biodegrade.  Cigarette butt filters are considered toxic waste, and when wet, they leach toxins, posing a threat to marine life and freshwater fish.

Cigarette butts continue to be the #1 item picked up by Surfrider volunteers at the chapter’s Green Streets stewardship events and on Oregon’s beaches.  I reached out to Bob’s Red Mill Sustainability Manager, Julia Person, to hear how they have been impacted by cigarette butt waste.

What prompted you to reach out to Surfrider's  HOTYB program?

Bob’s Red Mill neighbors an important wetlands area. We must be good stewards around pollution prevention. Surfrider’s HOTYB program will help us prevent the #1 littered item from entering our storm drains, wetlands, and ultimately our ocean.

How does helping to support your environment fit into Bob's Red Mill's overall business strategy?

Bob’s Red Mill is committed to creating a sustainable future and nourishing a healthy planet. This is essential to support nutritious food for all – both now and into the future.

Bob's Red Mill is 100% Employee Owned, how do you think your employee owners will adapt to the canisters?

I think that the canisters will be an excellent educational opportunity, and with the increased awareness, they will enable us all to be better stewards.

What other sustainability plans do you have in place that are working for you at Bob's Red Mill?

We recently installed solar panels and EV charging stations at our Whole Grain Store, we are fighting food waste with the help of a number of programs (Too Good To Go, Oregon Food Bank, and the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment) and we are supporting Oregon’s Recycling Modernization Act. We are also proud to have recently been certified gold as a Clackamas County Leader in Sustainability.

Can you share any future sustainability plans that you have your sights set on? 

We are continually examining our product packaging to minimize its impact, we are exploring electrifying our vehicle fleet, and we are looking into stormwater management strategies to help our wetlands further. You can learn more on our Sustainability page!

How your business can be a part of the solution:

Your business or organization can sponsor cigarette canisters to immediately improve your community by reducing cigarette butt litter and improving the quality of business districts for residents and visitors.

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