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- Across the board, companies are trying to lower their plastic footprints. The reception among consumers often varies.
- Trader Joe’s is using less plastic packaging on certain items as part of a plan to cut more than 1 million pounds of plastic from its stores in 2019. The move caused a price decrease in certain items like garlic, the company announced on its podcast.
- Starbucks announced a plan to eliminate its plastic straws by 2020 in favor of a lid that has garnered much criticism for its resemblance to a child’s sippy cup.
- Here are five sustainability initiatives companies implemented that customers loved — and six that they hated.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Trader Joe’s recently announced it would cut plastic packaging from certain food items, having the dual effect of minimizing plastic waste and saving customers some money.
The move is a part of the grocery chain’s larger goal to reduce plastic in its stores this year by 1 million pounds, and is a win for both the environment and shoppers.
But not all changes receive such warm receptions.
Other companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s are also working to eliminate items like plastic straws to reduce plastic use to mixed responses.
Business Insider conducted a survey of 1,800 young people earlier this year and saw that over half of the respondents marked that plastic bans were at least somewhat important.
But in practice, the solutions and replacements for the straws and other plastics can sometimes have a negative effect. In some cases, the consequences of reducing plastic can fall on the consumer. H&M charges customers for plastic shopping bags in some locations, something people are not always thrilled about.
From nixing the plastic straw to rewarding customers for bringing their own bags, companies are implementing different strategies to be more eco-friendly that are bound to produce mixed results. Here are five that customers loved and six that they hated.
Kroger announced in 2018 that it would begin the process to phase out plastic bag use in its stores, which include other brands such as Ralphs, Harris Teeter, and QFC. The goal is to eliminate plastic bags completely by 2025. In 2018, Kroger reportedly ordered 6 billion plastic bags a year.
The internet reaction to the change was initially positive, Today reported. Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen wrote in The Cincinnati Enquirer that the company’s shift was influenced by customers telling the store that plastic bags were wasteful.
Ted S. Warren/AP
The move to end plastic straws is a particularly controversial one. Starbucks announced in 2018 that it would be eliminating its green straws in favor of a strawless lid and people had a lot of opinions about the change.
Some people questioned the actual effect the change would have on the environment. A main contention with the new lid was its childish design, reminiscent of a child’s sippy cup. Some pointed out that the new cups were difficult to drink from and particularly spill-prone.
Starbucks plans to cut all straws by 2020.
LOVED: Trader Joe’s
Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
Trader Joe’s made a move this year to eliminate plastic in its packaging and the reactions were overall positive. The grocery chain explained via a podcast that it would remove plastic packaging from certain items, having the dual effect of cutting down on plastic and prices.
An immediate effect of the policy could be observed in the garlic, where the elimination of individual plastic packaging reduced the price to $0.49 a head. Though for now, it is still unclear which other products will eventually be affected.
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