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Amazon-owned Whole Foods announced yesterday that it will “stop offering plastic straws across all of its 500 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada,” claiming that it is “the first national grocery chain to make the environmentally friendly move,” according to CNN.

CNN writes that “plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 and massive amounts of it have piled up in landfills, some emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming over the near-eternity they take to degrade.”

The story says that “Whole Foods will also reduce its plastic usage in other parts of the store,” offering “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.”

In a prepared statement, Whole Foods chief merchandising officer AC Gallo said, “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.”

CNN points out that Whole Foods isn’t alone: “Starbucks announced in February that it redesigned its cold cup lids so they won't require a straw at all. By 2020, it will eliminate single-use plastic straws at its more than 29,800 locations around the world. Disney is in the midst of eliminating single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at its parks and McDonald's announced last year plans to move from plastic to paper straws at its locations in the UK.”
KC's View:
I wondered about something, and Quartz answered the question even before I had a chance to check it out…

“You know who isn’t backing away from single-use plastics, though? Amazon. Plastic straws sell by the hundreds and thousands on They come in every shape, style, and size: flexible, clear, brightly colored, BPA-free, glitter sparkle, “wow plastic neon,” “striped for boba.” The “Amazon’s Choice” selection is 250 clear, disposable drinking straws from Rupert & Jeoffrey’s Trading Co., for $5.99. (You can also buy 500 or 1,000 at a time, and pick from five other colors.)”

We also had a story recently about how LL Bean made a similar move in one of its store cafes, responding to a specific customer concern.

I’m not saying that Amazon should do everything that Whole Foods does, nor that Whole Foods’ procedures should always reflect Amazon’s. But this is certainly illustrative of a disconnect or, at the very least, an inconsistency between the two businesses.

I personally think this is a good move by Whole Foods, and think more companies ought to move in this direction.