Seattle’s PCC Community Markets has pledged to remove all petroleum-based plastic from its delis and replace it with biodegradable compostable containers by 2022. The co-op currently uses more than 5 million plastic deli containers each year, and the move is the next step in the company’s commitment to reducing waste.
“Our co-op’s impact on the environment and our role in the proliferation of plastic is something we discuss frequently – from the use of plastic containers for baked goods and deli items to plastic beverage bottles and yogurt cups,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of social and environmental sustainability. “For our sustainability goals, we chose to focus on those areas of our stores we can control, like shopping bags, straws, utensils, plates, takeaway containers and, now, packaging in our deli. Our hope is that by taking the lead, we can influence change across the region and the broader grocery and packaged goods industries.”
Previous sustainable efforts have included replacing plastic straws with compostable ones in 2015 and the elimination of petroleum-based plastic bags from all of its stores in 2007. Both of these efforts were years before the city of Seattle enacted its own bans. The stores also introduced compostable trays for its fresh meat in 2010.
The efforts are longstanding: PCC was among the first stores in the Puget Sound region to offer recycling in 1978. In 1994, it implemented composting in all of PCC stores.