Whole Foods will ban plastic straws and offer smaller produce bags

NEW YORK (CNN Business) — Responding to customers’ demands, Whole Foods is ramping up its war on disposable plastic.

The Amazon-owned company announced Monday that will stop offering plastic straws across all of its 500 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Whole Foods claims it’s the first national grocery chain to make the environmentally friendly move.

The company currently offers plastic straws to customers at its juice and coffee bars, as well at its cafes. It will start offering paper straws beginning in July. Plastic straws will still be available for customers with disabilities, upon request.

Whole Foods will also reduce its plastic usage in other parts of the store. It will also offer smaller plastic bags in the produce department and will start using new bags for its rotisserie chickens that use 70% less plastic than the hard plastic cases they will replace.

“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,” Whole Foods’ chief merchandising officer AC Gallo said in a statement.

The company stopped offering disposable plastic bags in 2008. It now only offers paper bags, and it sells reusable plastic bags.

Read more here.

Categories: Associated Press, News, US

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