Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Responsible Packaging in Whole Body

Did you know that nearly one-third of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. is packaging? Learn about the changes we’re making to our Whole Body product packaging to help reduce our environmental impact. Jim McConnell is Store Supplies and Services Specialist for the Rocky Mountain region and co-chair of the Whole Foods Market Responsible Packaging Task Force.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly one-third of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. is packaging:
  • At Whole Foods Market, we are constantly challenged to provide packaging that is responsible, performs well, and looks attractive.
  • Our focus is on paper, cardboard, plastic and glass products made from recycled content (as high as available and preferably post-consumer sourced); that is recyclable or compostable in a municipal facility; or is reusable at home. For paper products, sustainable forestry certifications are also important.
Whole Body has made some important changes to body care and supplement packaging:
  • In our 365 Everyday Value® brand, lotion, hair care, hand sanitizers and foaming soap are currently in 50% PCR plastic.  All body care and supplement bottles are transitioning to 100% PCR plastic, and shipping cases are 30% PCR cardboard.
  • Our Whole Foods™ brand features supplements in 100% PCR plastic with boxes transitioning to 100% recycled paperboard.  Our organic castile soaps are in 50% PCR bottles while organic bar soap packaging uses 30% PCR paper.
PCR is a very important component to consider when choosing products:
  • PCR or post-consumer recycled content offers a viable recovery of used materials that are collected from recycling programs the public participates in.  These materials would most likely end up in a landfill if not recycled.
  • One ton of recycled paper saves approximately 4100 KWH of energy and 7000 gallons of water; it prevents more than 60lbs of air pollution; and saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and approximately 17 trees versus virgin fiber.
  • PCR content PET plastic requires approximately 84% less energy to produce than it takes to make virgin plastic from fossil fuels.  For a single pound of recycled PET flake, the energy use required reduces green house gas emissions by 71%.
Whole Foods Market is committed to environmental stewardship:

·      We reduce by composting (where available), which has reduced our landfill waste by up to 75% in some regions.

·      We reuse by providing reusable and compostable plates in our dining areas.

·      We recycle by providing receptacles for compost, glass and plastic recycling, as well as collection for cell phones, batteries, plastic film, and natural wine corks.

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Chelly says …

Great to hear that Whole Foods is composting. Didn't know that such a large chain is doing this and hopefully others will catch on!

Amy B. says …

I appreciate y'all sharing this info with us. But I already trust that Whole Foods is doing the right thing! I wish other companies would follow your lead.

william mckinley says …

it wasn't very long ago i watched a ted report on the fact that young birds are staarving to death and when they autopsy their stomachs are filled to the brim with plastic bottle caps that the flying babies thought were food bobbing on the waves

Sara Phillips says …

Love that you are setting a great example! I can't wait to see other large stores follow your lead! Keep up the good work!!

anash says …

i think others should follow whole foods lead! what a great idea

Leigh says …

It is great that a store people shop in regularly sees them making an effort. I also love the corporate task force looking at this issue with employees on the ground

Annalena Hill says …

I saw an ad for paper loaf pans, $5.00 for 4 at Whole Foods. They are made from sustainably sourced unbleached greaseproof paper. Where can I buy them?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANNALENA - If you saw the ad in a local publication, I would suggest reaching out to your local store to see if they will have these in stock. Our products vary between store locations and regions so it is probably something carried in your area. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.

Michael Ebright says …

Hello. My company is considering purchasing compostable plates/bowls/utensils for our company café. Can you tell me where you source your product? Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MICHAEL - The vendors will differ between stores. Check with your local store to see where they source their items.