As much as I love the product variety at Trader Joe's, I hate the packaging waste.
Everything – apart from a few bananas – comes wrapped in excessive plastic or paper. What gives? On a recent shopping trip there, all the fresh produce seemed to be hermetically sealed: one barrel was full of pairs of zucchini trapped on small polystyrene trays bundled in plastic. Another featured pairs of apples similarly presented. Elsewhere, the store was selling oversized boxes of organic tea bags – the tea bag was the same size, but it was encased in a large cellophane wrapper, then packed in a box that seemed to be 30% bigger than the standard size. Is that ok because the tea is organic?
Trader Joe's offers a good selection of organic milk, eggs and butter. Its cleaning products minimize dangerous chemicals. And it sells many of these choices at reasonable prices. But the company does itself and its customers a disservice, especially in these lean and green times, by not reducing the packaging used to sell its products.
Maybe next time I'm there, I'll just unwrap all the overpacked goods and leave the waste at the cash register.