Austin, TX–Whole Foods Market announced a plan to reduce an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastic per year. By July 2019, plastic straws will be eliminated from all stores in the U.S., UK and Canada, as well as Whole Foods Market-operated venues including Allegro coffee bars, juice bars and cafes. The grocer will also switch to smaller plastic bags in the produce department this year and replace hard plastic rotisserie chicken containers with new bags that use approximately 70% less plastic.
“For almost 40 years, caring for the environment has been central to our mission and how we operate,” said A.C. Gallo, President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Whole Foods Market, said in a press release. “We recognize that single-use plastics are a concern for many of our customers, Team Members and suppliers, and we’re proud of these packaging changes, which will eliminate an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastics annually. We will continue to look for additional opportunities to further reduce plastic across our stores.”
For those who want straws: Customers will be offered Forest Stewardship Council-certified, recyclable and compostable paper straws with frozen drinks or upon request. Whole Foods Market will also offer a plastic straw option for customers with disabilities.