From all grocery store audits, WholeFoods was the leading grocery store in waste, energy, water, and plastic packaging reduction. Inside and outside the store, the grocery store makes every effort in reducing their environmental footprint. The materials that made up the store consist of:
100% reclaimed wood means less deforestation
barnwood used for the coffee bar that would have ended up in landfill
3-Form: lightweight recyclable resin made with more than 40% post-industrial reground content
ECOsurface: 70% post-consumer rubber tires are used for the back halls
Cha’s Organics carries a variety of spices, ranging from turmeric, curry masala, ginger and many more. What makes this packaging unique is that the box is made from recycled banana leaves! There’s dual benefits of purchasing this brand as it helps empower the communities of Sri Lanka while reducing pollution.
Although there were still many plastic bottles, there was an entire section for just glass bottles. Glass bottles can be reused 8 times until it can be melted and recycled into another item compared to single-use plastic. It also puts more responsibility to corporations that take the glass bottles to reuse.
100% recycled utensils and soy blend wax bakery tissue paper for low-moisture pick up applications. Just for comparison, Tim Horton’s bakery sheet for muffins is not recyclable.
Similarly to other grocery stores, WholeFoods does still package their produce, meats, herbs, olive station, and hot food items to-go in plastic or plastic containers and non-recyclable backboards/trays. Luckily, avocadoes are not found in netting, and there are packaged mushrooms as well as picking your own mushrooms to put in your own container. They also have a machine to grind up your own coffee and peanut butter.
Paper food wrap
WholeFoods not only cares about the preserving the environment but for social issues as well (just like OPIRG!). They have a strict criteria in which fruits and vegetables can qualify for a Whole Trade Guarantee which is a commitment for ethical trade, and better wages as each purchase directly benefits the farmers. They have also stopped giving out single-use plastic bags since 2007 and use paper bags at checkout.