Trader Joe’s colorful and relatively hippy ambience makes it one of those few grocery stores that you can actually enjoy your time inside. The products are affordable, healthy, good quality and the staff always look cool in their Hawaiian shirts.

That said, one of its flaws is the large amounts of plastic used on packaging, an issue that customers have increasingly voiced over the years. Frankly, it always seemed slightly off brand considering its whole image revolves around keeping things as simple and low-fuss as possible. Greenpeace decided to get involved and started an online petition to see just how many people wanted the plastic waste to stop. It resulted in a total of 91,000 signatures which ultimately gave Trader Joe’s the push to announce their efforts to cut back on plastic back in December of last year.

Their current goals include heavily reducing packaged produce (think about how often we see fruit unnecessarily wrapped in plastic!), getting rid of the Styrofoam trays in their meat section and replacing with recyclable ones, replacing their plastic flower bags with bags made of renewable material and even focusing on the little details such as plastic sleeves on greeting cards and recyclable pouches on tea packages. According to their calculations, by sticking to these very achievable goals they’ll be getting rid of over 1-million pounds of plastic from their stores. Of course, this is a continuing effort which means over time the number should only increase as they find new sustainable methods of replacing plastic.

Trader Joe’s has always prided itself on being upfront and transparent with its customers, so expect to hear more about the journey of eliminating its plastic footprint and commitment to sustainability. This new goal is not only good for the environment, but will presumably bring in more business from conscious consumers.

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