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Meijer donates $1 million to clean up Midwest lakeshores, waterways

The donation goes to the Council of the Great Lakes Region to fund the purchase and use of three innovative litter capture and cleanup technologies.
Credit: Provided
BeBots are eco-friendly, remote-controlled electric (solar and battery powered) beach cleaning robots that clean 32,000-square-feet of beach per hour.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer announced Monday they are donating $1 million to the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) to aid in the cleanup of Midwestern beaches and waterways.

The $1 million donation from Meijer to the CGLR Foundation will go to fund three innovative litter capture and cleanup technologies that will be deployed at over a dozen locations in the Midwest.

The plastic cleanup is part of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC) efforts to capture and recover plastic waste in and along waterways of the Great Lakes region.

“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,” said Mark Fisher, president and CEO for the CGLR. “Meijer has had a long-standing 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.”

Models estimate that 22 million pounds of plastic litter enter the Great Lakes annually and an estimated 80% of the litter that washes up on the shorelines is plastic.

The three new technologies that will be deployed are BeBot, a beach cleaning robot, Pixie Drone, a remote-controlled water cleaning drone, and gutter bin stormwater filtration systems.

BeBot

Credit: Provided
BeBots are eco-friendly, remote-controlled electric (solar and battery powered) beach cleaning robots that clean 32,000-square-feet of beach per hour.

BeBots are eco-friendly, remoted-controlled electric beach cleaning robots. The robots are solar and battery powered and clean up to 32,000-square-feet of beach per hour. The robots will be deployed on busy beaches in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. BeBots rake through the sand, collecting plastic litter and other waste for disposal and recycling.

Pixie Drone

Credit: Provided
Pixie Drones are eco-friendly, remote-controlled water drones that navigate through marinas and other waterways collecting up to 200 pounds of material per use.

Pixie Drones are eco-friendly, remote-controlled water drones. The drones navigate through marinas and waterways collecting up to 200 pounds of plastic waste, debris and other waste floating on the surface of the water. The drone also collects water data for analysis. They will be deployed in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Gutter Bin Stormwater Filtration Systems

Some of the funding will also go to gutter bin stormwater filtration systems to be installed at select Meijer supercenters. The gutter bins will capture and prevent trash, debris, microplastics and other harmful stormwater pollutants from flowing into nearby waterways.

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