Greenpeace Ranks Supermarkets on Sustainable Seafood, Plastic Use
The 10th edition of Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans report found that grocery retailers across the U.S. have vastly improved on providing sustainable seafood, while failing to take significant action on the growing problem of single-use plastics.
Overall, 90 percent of the retailers profiled received passing scores, 10 years after they all failed the first assessment. Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, ALDI and Target ranked as the top four retailers this year, while Trader Joe’s dropped the furthest, seven spots since Greenpeace’s last report.
Whole Foods remains the top ranked retailer this year following the implementation of a strong shelf-stable tuna policy and marked sourcing improvements. Hy-Vee placed second, achieved high marks for its advocacy and transparency initiatives. ALDI moved into the top three for the first time ever, buoyed by new policies to address problem practices like transshipment at sea, which is linked to illegal fishing and human rights abuses. Target moved into the top four following improvements in policy and advocacy initiatives, though the company broke a 2010 commitment by re-introducing farmed salmon in its stores.
According to Greenpeace, none of the retailers profiled have comprehensive policies to reduce and ultimately phase out their reliance on single-use plastics.
The equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic enters the world's oceans every minute, and with plastic production set to double in the next 20 years—largely for packaging—the threats to ocean biodiversity and seafood supply chains are increasing. Greenpeace is urging retailers to take responsibility for their contribution to this pollution and cities nationwide and large food service companies are already making commitments to start phasing out single-use plastics.
Earlier this year, Greenpeace released Misery at Sea, which documented illegal fishing and human rights abuses linked to Taiwanese fleets. Greenpeace is urging retailers to demand sustainable, ethical seafood and support the creation of legally binding labor agreements to protect workers’ rights in the seafood industry.
The report is available here.