We’re committed to reducing single-use plastics in our stores because it benefits our environment, customers, team members and suppliers. Single-use plastics, which include plastic bags, straws, soda and water bottles, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. From day one, we’ve gone above and beyond to eliminate or replace these items with better alternatives.
In 2008, we became the first U.S. grocer to ban disposable plastic bags at checkout. In 2019, we became the first national retailer to eliminate all plastic straws from our cafés and coffee bars. This initiative has eliminated more than 20 million plastic straws annually. We're proud of these accomplishments, but our work is far from finished.
Reducing Single-Use Plastics
From our Prepared Foods department to our checkout lines, we've worked hard to reduce single-use plastics and offer alternatives across our stores. Many of these alternatives are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) opens in a new tab, an international nonprofit dedicated to preserving forest ecosystems. Here are some of the many ongoing programs and initiatives you'll find in our stores.
FSC-Certified Paper Straws
As a replacement for plastic straws, we now offer customers paper straws with frozen drinks or upon request. All of the paper straws in our cafés and coffee bars are Forest Stewardship Council–certified, recyclable and compostable.
100% Recycled Paper Grocery Bags
In 2007, we became the first and only food retailer in North America to introduce 100% post-consumer recycled-content paper bags. While we encourage our shoppers to bring reusable bags, our paper bags offer a better alternative and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Smaller Produce Bags
In 2019, we introduced smaller produce pull bags for our fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Our packaging manufacturer estimates that this change saves 213,408 pounds (or 106.7 tons) of plastic annually.
Reusable Grocery Bags
We also offer a wide selection of reusable grocery bags in a variety of colors and sizes at affordable prices. Just pick one up at the checkout in your store.
We've eliminated all Styrofoam (polystyrene) meat packaging trays in all our stores in the U.S. and Canada. We’ve also removed all Styrofoam from our food service packaging.
Reduced Plastic Rotisserie Chicken Bags
As of October 2019, we replaced all hard plastic rotisserie chicken containers with bags that use approximately 70% less plastic, which our packaging manufacturer estimates saves nearly 1.7 million pounds of plastic annually.