Council of the Great Lakes Region receives $1M donation from Meijer to clean up lakeshores

(Alex Kormann, Star Tribune)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan-based box store chain has announced it will be donating $1 million to help clean up Midwestern beaches.

Meijer announced on Monday that it will be donating to the Council of the Great Lakes Region in the United States CGLR Foundation.

The purpose is to ultimately inform the public about the scale of the pollution problem in the Great Lakes.

According to the press release, the Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system in the world and there’s an estimated 22 million pounds of plastic litter that enter them annually. The release states that an estimated 80% of litter that washes up on the shoreline is plastic.

“We are lucky to live near the beautiful Great Lakes, which not only provide immense economic value to the region, but they also act as a hub for recreation, travel and biodiversity. It’s our responsibility to protect them,” said senior vice president of properties and real estate Vik Srinivasan in a press release. “These lakes represent a fifth of the world’s surface freshwater, and our partnership with the Council of the Great Lakes is the perfect opportunity for Meijer to be hands-on in the protection of our local waterways.”

The purpose of the donation is to purchase cleanup technologies and have them be at more than a dozen locations in the Midwest. The release says this is a part of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup’s plastic capture and recovery effort. This initiative was started in 2020 by the Council of the Great Lakes Regional and Pollution Probe. The technologies listed to help with the pollution are BeBot, Pixie Drone and Gutter Bins.

“We are very excited to be working with Meijer to expand the GLPC in the United States in 2022, the 50th anniversary of the United States-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement,” states President and CEO of the CGLR Mark Fisher. “Meijer has had a longstanding commitment to protecting the environment, and this investment in the GLPC will reduce plastic pollution and keep this globally significant natural resource beautiful and clean for generations to come.”

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.