Waste Management

We are working to divert 85% or our operational waste from landfill by 2027.We are working to divert 85% or our operational waste from landfill by 2027.

SASB: CG-MR-410a.3

Teams throughout our business work to implement cost-effective strategies and processes to manage the many different types of waste materials resulting from our operations. We are doing this in several ways, including by eliminating operational waste where feasible and by maximizing the reuse and recycling of materials in our stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices. These efforts support our global goal of working to divert 85% of operational waste from landfill by 2027.

Our global approach to managing operational waste includes efforts to:

  • Maximize reuse and recycling of operational waste, of which the majority is corrugate boxes

  • Collaborate with our waste-haulers and certain vendors and suppliers on solutions that improve our ability to divert operational waste materials from landfill

  • Update and enhance our communications on sortation and recycling procedures within certain stores

  • Address single-use plastics in our operations

  • Explore opportunities for certain geographies to expand merchandise recovery and reuse programs

FY23 Waste Metrics

Global Operational Waste Diversion Rate:1


Regional Diversion Rates:

U.S. 68%
Canada 87%
Europe* 99%
Australia 59%
  • GHG Emissions from Waste Generated in Operations (Scope 3, Category 5):

  • 34,700 metric tons of CO2e - a 26% year-over-year reduction compared with Fiscal 2022.

Maximizing Reuse and Recycling in Our Operations

We have many programs across our global business that support our efforts to reuse and recycle our operational waste in our stores, distribution centers, and home offices. Recycling programs for common items, like cardboard, plastic, paper, aluminum, and glass have been introduced across all geographies, and we are working to find new ways to reduce and recycle difficult-to-recycle items, like polystyrene.

One of our efforts in this area involves backhauling materials from our stores to dedicated facilities to be recycled or reused. In the U.S. and Europe, we have a number of Asset Recovery Recycling Centers (ARRCs), which are strategically located within our service centers and have historically served as a central destination for regional recyclable or reusable store material. The majority of our stores in the U.S. and Europe send used corrugated cardboard, plastic film, excess hangers, store fixtures, display cases, and other supplies to their local ARRC (or in some cases in Europe, back to a processing center), where the items are processed and can be reused in other stores or recycled. In Fiscal 2023, we implemented new infrastructure to support our waste goals, including incremental resources to increase the reuse and recycling of corrugated cardboard in the U.S. These efforts, along with many others, contribute to our intention to make year-over-year progress against our global operational waste diversion target.

Over the years, the flexibility of the ARRC program has enabled us to test new initiatives as we strive to increase the types of materials that can be included in our recycling stream. For example, as our global waste stakeholders have identified polystyrene (Styrofoam) as a key area of focus, we have leveraged the ARRC to pilot strategies to improve our management and recycling of polystyrene packaging material.

Our efforts to improve reuse and recycling within our organization through our ARRCs in the U.S. have returned more than 476,000 metric tons of waste from our stores for reuse and recycling since Fiscal 2017. In Fiscal 2024, we plan to continue to accelerate initiatives to increase recycling rates at ARRC-serviced stores through training and continued education on proper sortation techniques.

Operational Highlights Across Our Geographies:

  • In the U.S., T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods continued programs to reuse cardboard boxes throughout the network, and over 19.1 million reusable units of packaging were sent back from our stores through our network of ARRCs to be returned to distribution centers for reuse.

  • Our distribution centers in Canada achieved a 92% diversion rate.

  • In our European processing centers, we divert approximately 99% of waste from landfills.

Decreasing Single-Use Plastics

We have regional efforts in place to identify opportunities to remove single-use plastics from our operations and are working with our suppliers to reduce single-use packaging.

Reducing Plastic In Our Operations

  • In our U.S. and Canadian Distribution Centers, we are working to find ways to replace plastic films that traditionally protect merchandise as it is shipped to our stores. For many years in the U.S., we have utilized a more easily recycled material and corrugated box insert for the packaging of liquid products during shipping from distribution centers to stores. This effort has resulted in an estimated 12 million fewer plastic bags being used across our distribution network each year. In Canada, we have begun rolling out an effort to remove the bubble wrap pouches ordinarily used to protect the merchandise being delivered to stores. In addition to being recyclable, we have found that the fiber-based material being used in its place has reduced merchandise damage and can be reused by stores to protect merchandise carried home by customers.

  • TJX Canada launched a pilot program at the end of Fiscal 2023 to work directly with certain vendors to reduce the amount of polystyrene shipped with merchandise by utilizing alternative packing material. The first shipment of merchandise using the alternative packing material arrived at our distribution centers and stores in early 2023. We are currently monitoring the efficacy of the new packaging type to ensure that it meets our business requirements.

  • TJX Canada has switched to a reusable system for the containers served in our Home Office cafeteria, helping to divert an estimated 35,000 single-use containers from the waste stream annually.

  • In Europe, we are working to reduce single-use plastics in our offices, processing centers, stores, and e-commerce operations. To date, we have swapped plastic tape for paper tape in our e-commerce home deliveries, switched to plastic-free soap sachets and cleaning products in the restrooms and cleaning operations of some stores and our home office, and removed single-use plastic refrigerated beverage bottles from our European stores.

We’re also working to address single-use plastic merchandise carry out bags. For example:

  • TJX is a member of Closed Loop Partners’ Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, a multi-year collaboration across retail sectors that aims to identify, test, and scale innovative design solutions to serve the function of the current retail bag. As the Consortium’s Apparel and Home Goods Sector Lead Partner, TJX participated in the Bring Your Own Bag pilot initiative in 2023 to help encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags.

  • In Canada, regulations now prohibit the use of single-use plastic checkout bags in retail operations nationally and our Canadian operations teams worked to ensure that customers have options to choose alternatives in our stores.

  • In Europe, all single-use plastic merchandise carry out bags were removed from stores in Fiscal 2021. Customers can bring their own bags or purchase from our range of reusable bags containing recycled plastic content, including our “bags for life,” from which a portion of the proceeds goes to one of our charity partners.

Merchandise and Packaging Programs

We have programs in place in certain regions to help support recycling and reuse of merchandise and certain merchandise packaging.

For example, in the U.K. and Ireland, our long-running Give Up Clothes For Good campaign invites customers and Associates to donate their pre-loved quality fashion and homeware at their local T.K. Maxx. The pre-loved items are donated to Cancer Research U.K. and Enable Ireland where they are managed for potential reuse. In addition to the donated goods, T.K. Maxx contributes unsold goods. As of Fiscal 2023, the campaign has donated more than 2 million bags of goods, helping to raise millions of pounds for Cancer Research U.K. for Children and Young People and Enable Ireland. Learn more about our efforts in our Communities section.

Additionally, in Canada, we partner with Brands for Canada at our distribution centers and Habitat for Humanity at our stores to donate unsold products to people in need. In Fiscal 2023, TJX Canada also partnered with Pact to pilot a beauty product packaging collection program at select Winners stores. The Pact program enables customers to drop off used beauty packaging in-store, which is then sent to Pact where it will be sorted for processing. We expect to begin expanding the program to all Winners stores across Canada in Fiscal 2024.

Reducing Water Consumption

Although our business operations are not water intensive, we believe reducing water usage is consistent with both our commitment to environmental sustainability and our low-cost operating philosophy. To that end, we work to monitor our water usage and identify opportunities to improve water efficiency where feasible across our operations. For instance, our Energy Management groups in the U.S. and U.K. monitor water usage across our home office buildings to identify opportunities to conserve water including time-sensor technologies to control faucets in many of our restrooms.

Additionally, our TJX Vendor Code of Conduct strongly encourages our merchandise vendors to conserve and protect resources, such as water and energy, and also take into consideration environmental issues that may impact their local communities. Environmental concerns are incorporated into our merchandise vendor social compliance training materials as well, introducing high-level concepts of environmental sustainability, like water conservation. Our training includes specific cost-saving, water-conservation recommendations for our suppliers that they may consider implementing at their production facilities. We plan to continue including similar relevant water facts during future training sessions.

The Multiple Lives Of A Cardboard Box

The hard work and dedication of our U.S. store, ARRC, and distribution center Associates have helped to keep many of the corrugated cardboard boxes we use to deliver merchandise to our stores in circulation and re-used throughout our distribution and processing centers, with many ultimately being recycled after reuse.

Most of our U.S. stores return these boxes to an Asset Recovery and Recycling Center (ARRC). There, the boxes are carefully examined and sorted. Boxes that meet our requirements for reuse are sent to one of our distribution centers, where they are typically repacked with merchandise, delivered to another store, and returned once again to the ARRC. A corrugated cardboard box often makes up to three round trips to and from a store before it’s retired. At that point, these boxes are packaged together with other used boxes to be sent for recycling.

Through our U.S. ARRC network, our Associates helped us recycle more than 82,000 tons of cardboard in Fiscal 2023.

1Where TJX manages the waste operations for the stores.

Updated September 2023