Plastic Catastrophe

Earlier this year Kroger, one of the world’s largest supermarket chains, announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags across its family of stores by 2025. The news followed the release of Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans report, which ranked supermarkets nationwide on their support for sustainable seafood. The years report also focused on human rights issues and plastic waste reduction.

Despite the some level of improvment in their sourcing methods the report found that none of the major retailers had yet developed a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce their single-use plastic footprint.

The equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic enters our oceans every minute. With plastic production set to double in the next 20 years—largely in packaging—the threat to ocean biodiversity continues to rise.

Among the major retailers profiled in Carting Away the Oceans Whole Foods gets the top nod, following its implementation of a strong shelf-stable tuna policy and sourcing improvements. Target moved up to fourth place, following improvements in policy and advocacy initiatives, though the company broke a 2010 commitment by re-introducing farmed salmon into its stores. Meanwhile, more than eight years after Trader Joe’s committed to improvements on seafood sustainability, it still does not have a robust, public sustainable seafood procurement policy.