Whole Foods is making more changes to reduce its plastic use, including banning plastic straws.
Plastic straws will be phased out by July, with the retailer instead offering paper straws with frozen drinks or upon request.
The retailer has also switched this year to smaller plastic bags in the produce department, according to a news release. In addition, Whole Foods is replacing hard plastic rotisserie chicken containers with bags that use 70% less plastic.
Between eliminating straws, using smaller produce bags and switching to bags for the chickens instead of hard containers, Whole Foods expects to reduce its plastic waste by about 800,000 pounds per year.
Earlier changes include getting rid of disposable plastic grocery bags, eliminating Styrofoam meat trays and using environmentally responsible food containers in its prepared foods department, per the release.
“For almost 40 years, caring for the environment has been central to our mission and how we operate,” A.C. Gallo, president and chief merchandising officer at Whole Foods, said in the release. “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 ...
"We will continue to look for additional opportunities to further reduce plastic across our stores," Gallo said.