SSA Adopts Biodegradable Retail Product Fasteners

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Partners with cultural attractions nationwide on eco-friendly initiative.

SSA Group, a leading provider of retail, food and admissions at major U.S. cultural attractions, has launched a new initiative to replace plastic tag fasteners on select retail products with biodegradable fasteners.

“We’re excited to partner with our cultural attraction clients to continue to look for new ways to reduce our environmental impact,” said Andrew Fischer, Vice President of Conservation & Sustainability for SSA. “This is an important advance in our ongoing commitment to sustainability across all of our operations.”

SSA Group operates gift shops, food services and admissions at 65+ zoos, aquariums, museums and other cultural attractions, visited by more than 50 million people annually. The goal is to have the new fasteners deployed across all partner sites starting this summer.

“These fasteners will go on thousands of plush, apparel and other items sold at our partner locations every day,” said Jacquelyn Sorvillo, Chief Retail Officer. “That’s where we’ll make the largest impact.”

These new tag fasteners completely degrade within one year of exposure to soil microorganisms, without leaving behind harmful substances or microplastics. For the retail industry at large, these plastic fasteners are on 90 percent of the approximately 80 billion garments manufactured each year and that adds up to a whole lot of plastic.

For SSA’s clients, the annual savings in non-degradable plastics will equate to 23,283 plastic water bottles, or three miles high of plastic stacked on-end. This new effort is part of SSA’s larger commitment to sustainability and conservation through initiatives focused on stopping waste from the start, transforming the industry responsibly and supporting SSA’s partners for a sustainable future. SSA’s initiatives include reducing single-use plastic packaging for retail products; increasing alternative choices such as reusable straws, water bottles and bags; implementing sustainability engagement programs, carbon reduction and community projects for employees; and fostering partnerships with organizations such as Seafood Watch and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to promote sustainable food sourcing and operations.

“SSA has long embraced conservation and sustainability as core values,” said Fischer. “We’ve been a family-owned company serving families for nearly 50 years. Our environmental commitment extends to the global human family.”

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Katie Reinhart
SSA Group
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