Green is the unofficial color of March. From St. Patrick’s Day festivities to springtime’s magnificent new growth, green symbolizes life, freshness,
fertility and the environment.
As the dominant color in nature, green generates feelings of hope and the promise of renewal.
And so does Trader Joe’s.
The other day, my daughter Lauren brought home a half dozen Trader Joe’s apples in a bag – a wonderful, stretchy, ecofriendly, compostable produce bag that, unlike its plastic predecessors, won’t stick around for hundreds of years.
The bags, made by Crown Poly, are composed of starches, cellulose and vegetable oils, so they are plant-based rather than petroleum-based.
Trader Joe’s, a grocery chain known for its emphasis on clean food and sustainable business practices, says the aim is to have the new compostable bags
for produce in their 474 stores by April 1, thus eliminating more than 1 million pounds of plastic this year.
This is a noble start since only a small percentage of plastic (about 9 percent) is actually recycled and much of it finds its way into landfills, ditches, rivers, lakes and oceans, where it can be deadly to wildlife. Plastic breaks up but never fully breaks down and instead turns into toxic micro-plastics that can invade our food and water supply.
As a consumer, you can help by buying earth-friendly products such as compostable trash or dog doo bags, diapers, cups, plates, containers and cutlery from Amazon and other retailers.
It should be noted that for now, most compostables are more expensive and not widely available. Some are suitable for backyard composting bins, others may require industrial composting facilities which operate at higher temperatures.
The good news is, it seems like the world is catching on to the plastics problem. Each day, more and more cities are taking the bold move to ban plastic bags and straws. More and more retailers are doing what they can to cut back on the use
of plastics and promote the use of reusable, biodegradable and compostable products.
As citizens and consumers, let’s do our part by letting businesses, retailers and government officials know that green is an important color in our world – one we want to see all year ‘round and for centuries to come.
See you in April.
Terri Bryce Reeves, Editor