While activists and experts are convinced the world can’t recycle itself out of the current plastic pollution crisis, consumers and grassroots organization are asking businesses to be more sustainable and reduce their plastic waste.
A recent petition launched by Greenpeace targets Trader Joe’s to “play a leading role in phasing out throwaway plastic” at the corporate level. The petition, which garnered more than 100,000 signatures, outlines corporate greenwashing about recycling and the havoc plastic pollution is causing to the world’s oceans and marine life.
Since the petition’s national circulation, Trader Joe’s recently made an announcement that it will take the necessary steps to cut back on packaging waste in an effort to “eliminate more than 1 million pounds of plastic from its stores,” EcoWatch reported.
“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,” Kenya Friend-Daniel, public relations director for Trader Joe’s, said. “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.”
Last year, Trader Joe’s stopped the use of single-use plastic takeaway bags nationwide and is in the process of using more biodegradable and compostable options to eventually do away with their plastic produce bags and Styrofoam meat trays.
With plastic found on ever single continent and on the bottom of the world’s water, data shows that “only 9 percent of the plastics ever made have actually been recycled.” And the impact plastic pollution has on human health stretches as far as “our seafood, sea salt, tap water, and even the air we breathe,” David Pinsky, Greenpeace U.S.A. plastics campaigner David, said.
“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,” Pinsky said. “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.”