The world is starting to pay attention to the roughly 300 million tons of single-use plastics tossed every single year. Because plastic doesn’t biodegrade like other natural materials, those plastic bags and containers you used years ago are still sitting in a landfill somewhere. Thankfully, grocery stores like Kroger and now Trader Joe’s are starting to pay attention.
This petition started it all
Trader Joe’s says they will be taking major steps to cut back on single-use plastic and packaging at its stores! This is following a huge Greenpeace petition that challenged Trader Joe’s to ditch single-use plastics. The petition garnered 100,000 signatures, which was enough to grab the attention of Trader Joe’s executives.
Kenya Friend-Daniel, the public relations director for Trader Joe’s, told EcoWatch, “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.”
Trader Joe’s has already made some changes
Back in 2018, Trader Joe’s officially stopped offering single-use plastic bags in favor of brown paper bags (which can be recycled or composted). Their produce bags are now made of a biodegradable, compostable material. They also eliminated Styrofoam packaging and replaced it with bio-based compostable packaging.
But that’s not all…
The products you buy will look different soon
The popular grocery chain plans on making even more changes. We couldn’t be more excited about this! Here’s what Trader Joe’s wants to do:
- Reduce the use of plastic packaging for produce such as apples, pears and potatoes
- Replace Styrofoam trays in the meat section with PET1 trays, which are easier to recycle
- Put Trader Joe’s greeting cards in compostable packaging, instead of plastic
- Replace the plastic and foil pouches currently used for tea
The individual changes may seem small, but together, they can make a huge impact—to the point where a million pounds of plastic could be eliminated. I’ve even experienced this in my own personal waste-free journey. After going plastic-free for seven days, I found that (while it can be hard to do) eliminating even a percentage of my single-use plastics really does make a difference in my overall amount of waste.
If you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s yet, maybe it’s time to give it a try! Here are the Trader Joe’s customer favorite foods from 2018.