Trader Joe's Has Big Plans For the Produce Section This Year

Trader Joe’s has been our grocery store obsession ever since our first taste of their dried mango strips and sparkling pink lemonade in college. But as we’ve gotten older and started actually cooking instead of just microwaving some shumai every time we’re hungry, we’ve noticed one area where the store is seriously lacking: the produce section. Though TJ’s has great specialty produce and salad kits, their basics leave something to be desired, and produce items are often packaged unnecessarily in plastic clamshell containers or on styrofoam. Thankfully, Trader Joe’s just announced plans to change all that.

On a recent episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, the hosts revealed that Trader Joe’s is specifically looking into reducing the amount of plastic packaging they use, especially in the produce section.

The chain has already started selling potatoes, onions, and apples loose instead of in plastic packages, and the produce manager interviewed on the podcast said that garlic will be sold loose as well.

For items that can’t be sold loose, like berries, the chain is looking into eco-friendly packaging alternatives, from much thinner, recyclable plastic, to a biodegradable and compostable material similar to cardboard.

Originally, the store had decided to eliminate one million pounds of plastic from its stores in 2019. So far, they’ve surpassed that goal in a huge way. They plan on eliminating 2.5 million pounds of plastic from the produce section alone, and they think they’ll be able to eliminate 4 million pounds of plastic by the end of the year.

The next time you go to Trader Joe’s and find yourself in the produce aisle, you may be pleased and surprised to see it looking a little more like a traditional grocery store. No more will you have to buy roma tomatoes on a styrofoam tray — you can pick out the best of the bunch yourself and put them in a reusable bag. Sounds like a win for all of us, but especially the environment.

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