Whole Foods Market said Monday it will eliminate plastic straws from all its stores by July, becoming the first national grocer to make this change.
The Amazon.com subsidiary said it will also switch to smaller plastic bags in its produce department and replace hard plastic rotisserie chicken containers with new bags that use about 70 percent less plastic.
The packaging changes will reduce an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastic per year, the world’s top organic and natural grocery chain said.
“For almost 40 years, caring for the environment has been central to our mission and how we operate,” said A.C. Gallo, WFM president.
By July, Whole Foods said it will remove plastic straws from its own operated venues, including Allegro coffee bars, juice bars and cafes. As a replacement, Whole Foods said it will offer customers paper straws with frozen drinks or upon request.
The paper straws are Forest Stewardship Council-certified, recyclable and compostable. The company said it will offer a plastic straw option for customers with disabilities.