Part of being an ethical company is listening to customers’ concerns. As consumers grow more and more aware of the devastating impact businesses can have on the environment, companies who decide to change with the times can be massively rewarded, and not just with good karma.

In the spirit of good stewardship, and listening to concerned customers, grocery store chain Trader Joe’s has pledged to drastically reduce the amount of plastic products used in their merchandise. The move came after a successful Change.org petition asking the company to cut plastics gathered nearly 100,000 online signatures.

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“Taking into consideration our customer feedback and our desire to be great neighbors, we have been taking a careful look at our packaging and the opportunities that exist to make improvements, with respect to sustainability,” the company said in an announcement.

In their announcement, TJ’s committed to cutting one million pounds of plastic waste each year. The company cited compostable packaging initiatives, as well as the discontinuation of plastic wrap for certain single-use products like tea bags. They will begin selling more loose produce to avoid wrapping it in plastic, and they will wrap greeting cards and flowers in compostable material instead.

Plastic bags, and plastic product in general have a devastating impact on our planet. Plastic attacks the environment on multiple levels, spurring Climate Change with oil demand, and then by harming plants and wildlife after its use has been fulfilled.  When large companies like Trader Joe’s choose to be as ethical as consumers, their impact can huge. Not only do they see an uptick in profits, they lead the way for other corporations to follow their good example.

For more information on how plastic harms the environment, see What’s So Bad About Plastic Bags?, 5 Ways Plastic Pollution Impacts Animals on Land, and Sea Shepherd’s Amazing New Campaign Shows the Impact of Plastic on Marine Life.

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