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Sam’s Club, Aquafina program exceeds students’ plastic recycling goals

BY Allison Cerra

STAMFORD, Conn. Students across the U.S. took the phrase “renew, reuse, recycle” to a new and different level by participating in Students for Recycling, a national school-based plastic (PET) recycling program that turns plastic bottles into backpacks for kids.

The two-month long program, part of the Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, asked students across the country to collect plastic bottles from Mar. 1 to May 31 of this year, to divert plastic from the country’s waste stream. Although the goal of the program was to collect 45 million bottles, the goal was exceeded as students collected 70.6 million.

In collaboration with Aquafina and Sam’s Club, Keep America Beautiful, dubbed the nation’s largest community improvement program, encouraged students across the country to participate Backpacks made from recycled PET will be donated to students who are making a difference in their communities.

“Students for Recycling has been a fun way to raise awareness for an important cause while allowing us to give back to the communities who are dedicated to making a difference,” said Mario Palomino, senior national account manager, Pepsi-Cola North America, makers of Aquafina.

Sam’s Club and Aquafina worked with Keep America Beautiful to build awareness of the program with in-store signage that featured a message about recycling. Keep America Beautiful affiliates worked with their local Sam’s Club to conduct the program, and event sponsor Waste Management weighed, transported and recycled the bottles.

Additionally, Sam’s Club awarded $50,000 total in the form of $1,000 Sam’s Club Gift Cards to each of the 50 top-collecting schools.

“The Students for Recycling program with Sam’s Club and Aquafina is testament to the collective power of Keep America Beautiful volunteers,” said Keep America Beautiful president G. Raymond Empson. “By providing backpacks made out of recycled PET, our sponsors provided a ‘teachable moment’ for students, demonstrating how recycled raw materials are turned into new and useful products.”

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Rite Aid to sponsor dirt racing events

BY Michael Johnsen

CONCORD, N.C. The World Racing Group on Monday announced that Rite Aid would sponsor in 2008 of the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track being held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week in Syracuse, N.Y.

The partnership brings a new name for the popular World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race in Charlotte and is a renewal of Rite Aid’s participation in the premier 200-lap Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event in Syracuse.

“We are proud to become the official sponsor of two major race events: the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week,” stated Jay Ross, Rite Aid vice president of marketing. “These are great, long-standing events with dedicated fans and Rite Aid is thrilled to support these exciting races in 2008.”

“This is a great partnership for our organization and our fans,” stated World Racing Group president Tom Deery. “Rite Aid’s promotional support for the World of Outlaws event in Charlotte as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week is appreciated and reciprocated by fans across the entire northeast.”

Rite Aid’s promotional programs for each event will include driver appearances, show car displays and ticket giveaways at Rite Aid Pharmacies in the Carolinas and the Northeast in conjunction with each event.

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A&P to sell remaining shares of Metro to finance acquisition of Pathmark

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has announced that it expects to close on the Pathmark acquisition in December. It also announced that it plans to sell its remaining Metro shares to finance the deal.

A&P revealed in March plans to acquire grocer Pathmark for $1.3 billion in cash, stock and debt. The move—which hardly took the industry by surprise—will create a 550-store, $11 billion supermarket chain that will likely have a greater presence in pharmacy going forward.

Assuming that the 11.7 million shares of Metro are sold prior to Nov. 30, A&P expects to use the proceeds, together with borrowings under a reduced Bridge Facility and a portion of its increased $675 million ABL Facility to finance the deal. Based on the closing price of the shares on Nov. 2, the value totals about $435 million.

“We regard the Metro divestiture as a clear near-term positive for A&P. Since the company had exited the Canadian market, the stake has little real strategic value,” stated Goldman Sachs analyst John Heinbockel in a research note. “So it is essentially being traded for the much more strategically valuable Pathmark asset.”

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