Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Eco-Friendly Packaging Changes

We’ve made a few packaging changes in our Whole Body™ department, and in the spirit of Earth Month, thought we’d give you the details on how we are using post-consumer recycled materials. According to the EPA, nearly one-third of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. is packaging. Fortunately, people are shifting to demand more environmentally friendly forms of packaging…and we’re here to support that! When you see the PCR (post-consumer recycled) seal, that means the bottle is made with 100% PCR plastic. Some experts say that selecting products that utilize PCR plastics not only decreases production of plastic worldwide, but also reduces the release of greenhouse gases. Our 365 Everyday Value® brand offers lotion, hair care, hand sanitizers and foaming soap that are currently in 50% PCR plastic. All of the body care and supplements are transitioning to 100% PCR plastic bottles. And, the shipping cases are 30% PCR cardboard boxes. Our Whole Foods™ brand currently offers supplements in amber colored bottles that are 100% PCR plastic. Supplements in boxes are transitioning to 100% recycled (50% PCR) paperboard. The organic castile soaps are in 50% PCR bottles, and the organic bar soap packaging uses 30% PCR paper. We know that sometimes all of the choices available in our Whole Body™ department can be a bit overwhelming, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question! Our Whole Body™ Team Members are thoroughly trained and well educated about the products we offer. Some fun facts about post-consumer recycled (PCR) material:
  • PCR is made from materials that are collected from recycling programs that the public (that’s you!) 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%.
Listen in on this interview with the co-chair of our Responsible Packaging Task Force for additional details about our new packaging and Green Mission efforts. We know that many of our customers are as committed to environmental stewardship as we are. So, tell us, how do you show your love for the planet when it comes to packaging?