This Is How Much Plastic Trader Joe's Wants to Eliminate in 2019
With its New Year's resolutions, Trader Joe's is aiming to go a whole lot greener.
In announcing their newest eco-goals for 2019, like reducing plastic packaging in the produce section, the grocery chain says it's aiming to eliminate more than 1 million pounds of plastic from its nearly 500 stores nationwide.
Soon, you may also start noticing the plastic wrapping on their greeting cards has changed to a compostable sleeve and there will be more eco-friendly packaging on flower bouquets. These new guidelines will work alongside previous sustainable practices Trader Joe's has already implemented, like replacing the plastic produce bags for loose fruits and vegetables with compostable ones as well as increasing awareness around recycling dos and don'ts for shoppers.
The chain notes on their site that most of the existing plastic packaging in stores has the highest recyclability acceptance in the country-#1, or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), and #2, or High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)-and now it's looking to make the next step in being more sustainable by working to reduce the amount of plastic used. This is important because only 9 percent of plastic created since the 1950s has been recycled. It often ends up in landfills, where it releases toxins, or finds its way into the ocean. Every year, a whopping 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our waterways where it becomes a hazard for marine life and begins to break down into microplastics, which scientists have already found in drinking water.
With more plastic bans, from bags and straws to take-out containers, around the country, it's no surprise that fans of the chain have been urging it to reduce packaging. A change.org petition received over 80,000 signatures in two months. Now it seems like Trader Joe's is listening.
Meanwhile, TJ's continues to help fight food waste by donating all unsold food from their stores to local food banks, every day of the week.