85,000 Petition Supermarket Giant to Open Plastic-Free Aisle
An online petition calling on the nation's largest supermarket chain to open a plastic-free aisle has surpassed 85,000 signatures.
The Care2 petition, launched less than a week ago, asks Kroger Co. to curb plastic packaging in its 2,800 branches.
The campaigners were inspired to take action after Dutch grocery store chain Ekoplaza launched the world's first plastic-free aisle in one of its Amsterdam markets last month.
"People would love to have that in the United States," Rebecca Gerber, Care2's senior director of engagement, told Retuers.
"You can tell by how fast this petition grew that this is something that (our supporters) want stores and companies that produce plastic to take on seriously."
Each year, 8 million metric tons of plastic gets dumped into our seas, literally choking marine life and wrecking havoc on ocean ecosystems and the larger food chain. Local and national governments around the world have introduced bans on plastic bags, bottles and other single-use items to stem the flow of the wasteful and potentially harmful material.
Environmentalists and concerned citizens are urging businesses and manufacturers of disposable products to take responsibility for their products through their entire life-cycle and invest in sustainable alternatives.
World's First Plastic-Free Supermarket Aisle Debuts in the Netherlands https://t.co/ahfvKjBMt5 @PlasticPollutes @Plastic_Bag_Ban— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1519872605.0
The Care2 petition states:
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, global food retail sales add up to a whopping $4 trillion annually. A lot of those products come in plastic which keeps our food from spoiling—but spoils the planet at the same time.
Supermarkets are responsible for 40 percent of the plastic packaging we use, and because of that huge number, they must start taking responsibility for the plastic products they put out on their shelves and which subsequently end up in our landfills, city streets and oceans.
Shoppers at Ekoplaza's Jan Pieter Heijestraat store have roughly 700 plastic-free products to choose from, including meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, yogurt, snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables. Instead of plastic, items are packed in compostable materials or glass, metal and cardboard. The company, which has 74 stores across the Netherlands, plans to roll out similar aisles across all branches by the end of the year.
"Care2 is calling on Kroger to show American consumers the same here," the organizers said.
"Imagine how much of a difference Kroger could make if they opened a plastic-free aisle in all of their stores. This would not only reduce waste, but it would encourage companies to think of other—more environmentally sound—ways to package their foods."
More and more businesses are stepping up to reduce consumer waste. Iceland Foods, a major UK supermarket chain specializing in frozen food, announced in January it will eliminate plastic packaging from its own brand of products by the end of 2023.
Two Major Food Companies Announce War on Packaging Waste https://t.co/E9fnRdGRXr @savingoceans @PlasticPollutes @SaveOurShores— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1516141208.0
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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