SEATTLE – PCC Community Markets (PCC), the nation’s largest community-owned food market, furthered its longtime and steadfast commitment to reducing waste by pledging to eliminate plastic in its delis by 2022. With this goal, PCC will replace petroleum-based plastics with biodegradable compostable containers. The co-op currently uses over five million plastic deli packaging containers each year.
A local leader in sustainability, PCC replaced plastic straws and utensils with compostable across all its stores in 2015, well before the City of Seattle ban which goes into effect on July 1, 2018. The co-op began reducing its use of petroleum-based plastics in 2007 when it eliminated plastic grocery bags across all stores, five years before the City of Seattle implemented its plastic bag ban in 2012. The Seattle-based retailer also introduced compostable trays for fresh meat in 2010.
“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.”
A dedication to waste reduction is a thread that runs through the co-op’s 65-year history. As early as 1978, it was among the first in the Puget Sound to offer recycling in its Kirkland store and, in 1994, it led the region when it implemented composting across all its locations.
Additionally, like many grocery cooperatives, PCC’s early stores took a “zero waste” approach to grocery, introducing many shoppers to the idea of shopping in “bulk.” This approach allowed members and shoppers to use their own containers for items like flour, sugar, spices, nuts, peanut butter and more.
Today, PCC continues to offer a wide variety of items in bulk such as flours, grains, legumes, rice, pastas, granolas, nuts, nut butters, honey, olive oil, water, tea and even body care like shampoo, lotion and soap. Shoppers are also encouraged to bring their own cups for coffee, espresso drinks and tea, containers for bulk and bags for checkout.
To learn more about PCC’s waste reduction efforts, please visit PCC Sustainability.
ABOUT PCC COMMUNITY MARKETS
Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is the nation’s largest community-owned food market with an unmatched enthusiasm for making food from scratch. Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, PCC is a haven for those who share a dedication to fresh, organic seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. With an active membership of more than 60,000 households, PCC operates 11 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Columbia City, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle, which will reopen in 2019. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood in 2019 and Madison Valley and Downtown Seattle in 2020.
In 2017, PCC gave nearly 50 percent of after-tax earnings to members and returned more than 10 percent to the communities it serves, including schools and nonprofits around the Puget Sound area such as the PCC Farmland Trust and FareStart. For more information, visit: Facebook and Instagram.
Source: PCC Community Markets (PCC)