After customer petition, Trader Joe’s discontinue single-use plastics

Many business are making the choice to reduce their plastic waste — including the well loved store, Trader Joe’s, who recently announced how and when they will be taking steps back to cut down on plastic as well as other packaging waste.

This announcement came after a petition launched by Greenpeace, which gathered close to 100,000 signatures.

At last year’s end, the company made an announcement about multiple improvements geared towards making packages more sustainable to help eliminate over 1 million pounds of plastic from stores.

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The retailer is already stopped offering single-use plastic carryout bags nationwide and is replacing plastic produce bags as well as Styroforam meat trays with biodegradable and compostable options.

“As a neighborhood grocery store, we feel it is important for us to be the great neighbor our customers deserve. Part of that means better managing our environmental impact,” public relations director for Trader Joe’s Kenya Friend-Daniel, shared with EcoWatch in an email. “As we recently shared with our customers, we are working to reduce the amount of packaging in our stores and while we have made a number of positive changes in this space, the world is ongoing.”

Every year, there is enough plastic thrown away to circle the earth four times.

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And only one-quarter of plastics made in the U.S. are recycled though recycling plastic takes 88 percent less energy than making it from raw materials.

And if only three-quarters of plastics were recycled, the Recycling Coalition of Utah says that people could save an save around 1 billion gallons of oil as well as 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually.

“Every minute of every single day the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters our oceans. Not only are these plastics hurting or killing marine animals, they are impacting all of us through our seafood, sea salt, tap water, and even the air we breathe,” David Pinsky, Greenpeace U.S.A. plastics campaigner shared with EcoWatch. “We know that we can’t recycle our way out of this crisis, as only 9 percent of the plastics ever made have actually been recycled.”

Image via Eugene Barnett, Jr.

A growing number of companies in recent years have taken the initiative to reduce plastic waste, including United Kingdom food retailer A.S.D.A. – who plans to remove single-use cups as well as cutlery this year.

McDonald’s alleges that 100 percent of its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sustainable sources within the next seven years while water company Evian plans to be carbon neutral and plastic free by 2020.

Trader Joe’s says it’s humble beginnings is just the start of a coined “war on plastics,” stating it is part of its “never-ending work.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Plastic has also been found on every continent, including Antarctica as well as the bottom of the world’s deepest waters.

“For far too long, corporations have deflected blame and made the issue of plastics about individual responsibility, but it’s time for the world’s largest corporations and retailers to show some accountability. The only way we are going to tackle this crisis is by pressuring corporations and governments to move away from throwaway plastics for good, and toward systems of reuse,” said Pinsky.

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