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109 Comments

Comments

Michael says ...
Hi there, You have no idea about how many foam tray that people throw away every day. I am working in a big Asian Supermarket, and I can tell: it's a lot. The foam tray we use for 1 day can fill up to the ceiling of your bed room. I am not a green guy, but I know how important it is to protect our environment. Glad to hear that we may have something to replace the foam tray, and in the future, get rid of plastic bag.
09/23/2010 11:50:14 PM CDT
Mel says ...
I like Charlie's idea of butcher paper. If customers need to see inside, perhaps a butcher paper with a center strip that is see-through plastic, prefereablly not anything worse than the plastic wrap for the trays.
09/24/2010 9:10:23 AM CDT
herb keener says ...
I applaud your efforts but I have to wonder how safe and reliable a product made only in china could be.
09/24/2010 12:20:24 PM CDT
Heather says ...
I like Charlie's idea. I like the idea of the butcher paper. Most the time I will go to the meat counter so that I can use the butcher paper instead of getting the meat that is packaged in the Styrofoam trays. Thanks WFM for the post.
09/24/2010 1:09:19 PM CDT
Fran says ...
I would suggest you use a vacuum sealing process for the meat You can seal it, slap on an information sticker and you're good to go. Not only would you would eliminate the need for a tray, the product would be "freezer" ready!
09/24/2010 2:13:02 PM CDT
James says ...
I can't believe that Whole Foods Market is exerting this kind of effort to find a more environmentally sound way to package products. It is exactly this kind of thing that keeps me coming back to Whole Foods. I am so appreciative of the fact that this issue is even being considered and researched. Whole Foods Market is definitely the place to shop for quality products and it is worthwhile efforts such as these that have turned me away from other supermarket chains. Keep up the great work. It is definitely noticed.
09/24/2010 5:08:28 PM CDT
barbara says ...
i just saw where chinete is making a plate with sugar cane ..this did catch my eye ,,great renewable way to save the enviorment :) glad to see retailers are moving forward for a healthier planet
09/25/2010 6:56:35 AM CDT
Chris says ...
I am thrilled that you are working on an alternative to that ubiquitous but inherently dangerous styrofoam. My oncologist is strongly committed to informing her patients of the connecton between plastic and cancer. Not to mention that we need to reduce our reliance on petroleum. Those of us who shop at Whole Foods, I am sure, have more discerning tastes than the general public. I can overlook the look and feel knowing that it's just healthier for the enviroment - and me!
09/25/2010 7:12:05 PM CDT
Terry says ...
You should consider thermoformed corrugated. It can be made with recyclable moisture/grease/vapor resistant coatings or recyclable film. The corrugated part makes it fiber efficient and strong.
09/26/2010 5:53:36 AM CDT
Denise says ...
I wholeheartedly support the move away from styrofoam. I had read this article yesterday and went shopping today. I had one meat purchase wrapped in butcher's paper and another in the thick plastic wrap. No leaks, fit in my reusable bag no problem, popped them in the freezer when I got home. I don't see the need for trays of any kind!
09/26/2010 8:58:15 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
I think it is great that this issue is being addressed by Whole Foods. Not seeing styrofoam trays would be wonderful! And I must say that there are a lot of insightful comments and queries regarding alternative materials and sourcing issues that have been posted by consumers on this blog; I hope the posts are being seriously reviewed by Whole Foods. Thanks!
09/26/2010 9:46:03 PM CDT
Chrissy says ...
The Whole Foods I go to has the Meat Counter (few others in the area do not), but I try to always go to the counter, and that way the meat is wrapped fresh and isn't in the Styrofoam either. I think the people who shop @ Whole Foods could care less about the packaging, as long as their meats look good. But with the meat counter...you wouldn't have added costs of packaging either.
09/27/2010 9:13:16 AM CDT
Peanut butter says ...
i loove this articlle !
09/27/2010 9:45:57 AM CDT
p says ...
love that you are looking into getting rid of styrofoam. i'm constantly looking for ways to eliminate artifical packaging products from my food - i don't even like the plastic wrap, let alone the styrofoam. how about you just sell the meat straight from the meat case, much like most of the unfrozen fish/seafood is sold? then it can simply be wrapped in wax paper, and then in the white whole foods logo paper and it's done. how much styrofoam and plastic wrap could you save that way? tons! not to mention the cost of developing yet another made in china product. cos you know once you start buying tons of these trays, there will be bullrush cultivation farms springing up and it will no longer be organic, chemical free etc. ditto with fresh veggies. why are there shrink-wrapped peas and beans and mushrooms, when you can just scoop up some and put into a bag? at any rate, kudos to you for working on this. oh and as a customer: i don't give two whits about the trays looking less attractive if it keeps my food away from toxic styrofoam and reduces trash.
09/27/2010 12:03:20 PM CDT
Kolleen says ...
Styrofoam is awful. Can you believe childrens lunches at school are served on these! I don't have a suggestion for you on a better alternative, though. But would have no problem purchasing something in a black container if I knew it was eco friendly and safe.
09/27/2010 8:48:42 PM CDT
Mary L says ...
I won't mind paying a one time fee for a re-usable container to replace any packaging or to pay more for a more environmental packaging, even if it's less appealing to the eye. I'd like to think most people will be persuaded if they understand why.
09/28/2010 11:28:42 AM CDT
k. davison says ...
I have concern about the source country; too many products from China contain heavy metals and other toxins. Is Whole Foods testing the Bull Rush in the pre production stage for contaminants? What about trying the old paper pulp trays?
09/29/2010 7:03:53 PM CDT
Michele says ...
I am so happy to read about this pursuit. Thank you WHole Foods!
09/29/2010 7:11:28 PM CDT
Elizabeth MacArthur says ...
Very interesting. It would be great to end the life of Styrofoam for the packaging purposes it's now used for. However, I have a concern with the containers yu provide at your salad and hot foods bars, the material of which is not known to me but truly adhorred as a carrier for any food I intend to eat at a later time. It is the same material used for old-time egg cartons before those gottr spiffed up in more attractive containers that preserve flavor and freshness so much better. The containers you provide just are not sanitary let along attractive or appetite appealing. Evgen plain lastic would be more suitable and acceptable to me, and I'm sure I'm not alone, from comments I hear as I troll the otherwise wonderful "bars" in Whole Foods. these things are truly horrible and unsuitable for food.
09/29/2010 7:31:37 PM CDT
Emily says ...
Hi there, we have a lot of coops in Minneapolis/St Paul, and I have seen lots of different kinds of packaging, including plastic--clear on the front, black on the back. Hot dogs can be found like this. What's to prevent this sort of packaging? It has the visual appeal of the styrofoam, eliminates both cling wrap and trays, and can be made with recyclable plastics. Just a thought.
09/29/2010 7:58:25 PM CDT
Janelle Jakubowski says ...
Greetings Applause to you for your efforts. I do everthing I can,including doing summersaults to avoid non-recyclable packaging with anything I buy. Can't wait to see the results of your effort.
09/29/2010 8:35:30 PM CDT
Chris says ...
Hey Whole Foods, This is a great article. I appreciate the transparency and the discussion of pros and cons and realities. In response to the comment right before mine (From Mary), I would imagine that if WF is shipping by ship, the emissions of transporting product from China may even be less than driving product by truck around the US. Also - a fair living wage to workers in China is still going to be lower than a fair living wage in the US. I would agree that the color may not be such a big deal. People have gotten used to the salad containers, even though to me they still look a little too close to compost! (But I still use them!) Again - great article, good luck in the hunt, and keep up this kind of interesting writing. Cheers, Chris
09/29/2010 8:37:53 PM CDT
Janelle Jakubowski says ...
I just read peanut butter's comments and I agree. I would be willing to pay more if necessary. But why not eliminate the prepaking altogether. I remember shopping for my mother many times and the meats, cheese, etc. were not wrappped until you placed your order and then in the white waxed butcher paper. Sometimes the old way is really better.?
09/29/2010 8:39:28 PM CDT
Mita says ...
I think the oil used to ship the stuff overseas offsets any real advantage they have over going with something less expensive here, such as a food-grade, thick, wax-covered paper product. Certainly there is a manufacturer in the U.S. (oh the green and desperately needed jobs that could be had right here in the good old U.S.A.!) that could design something spectacular made out of recycled paper or biodegradable corn starch packaging.
09/29/2010 9:19:27 PM CDT
Irene Leslie says ...
I commend you for making the effort to get rid of styrofome. I'm sure that the fiber trays will be improved as time goes by. I'll take a look at them next time I'm in one of your stores and then give you an more in depth opinion.
09/29/2010 9:20:27 PM CDT

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