Trader Joe's Is Making A Big Change In Its Stores & We're All For It

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
Trader Joe's is giving customers what they want. No, not a whole new line of Cookie Butter products, but something just as good and much more necessary. In a February edition of Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer circular, the grocery chain announced some major plans to reduce plastic waste, according to SFGate.
Although TJ's new sustainability efforts have gained widespread attention among customers over the last month, the grocery chain officially announced its plastic-reduction plans on the last day of 2018. In a post under the "sustainability" tab on website — a section of the site we're guessing most customers don't frequent — Trader Joe's wrote, "Taking into consideration our customer feedback and our desire to be great neighbors, we have been taking a careful look at our packaging and the opportunities that exist to make improvements, with respect to sustainability."
According to this post, Trader Joe's has long tried to ensure its plastic packaging has the highest recyclability possible, however, the grocer also recognizes it could be doing more. That's why TJ's is now pledging to make improvements in 2019, and specifically listed the following goals it would like to work toward this year:
- Reducing the number of items sold in plastic packages in our produce section, including apple, pear, and potato bags.
- Replacing any remaining styrofoam trays in our fresh meat section with PET1 trays that are highly recyclable.
- Replacing the current plastic sleeves on our greeting cards with sleeves made of a renewable, compostable material.
- Replacing the current plastic flower bags with bags made of a renewable material.
- Eliminating non-recyclable plastic and foil pouches from our tea packages.
We reached out to Trader Joe's to find out more details about how it plans to accomplish these goals and get an update on how its plastic-reducing plans are going so far but have yet to hear back. Still, if everything goes according to plan in 2019, the grocery chain expects to eliminate more than a million pounds of plastic from its stores, per its December 31 post. We'd say that's actually better than a new Cookie Butter boom.

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