Consumer Retorts: Trader Joe’s Bad Wrap

Yo, Joe! Do apples really need extra packaging?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/harleyccoper/272310471/" target="blank">THE SHOW MUST GO ON</a>.


CONSUMER RETORTS

Consumer Retorts

Trader Joe’s Bad Wrap

Yo, Joe! Do apples really need extra packaging?

TRADER JOE’S IS known for its high-quality, inexpensive fare. But what’s up with its overpackaged produce? Some of TJ’s fruits and veggies come bundled in plastic wrap and on plastic trays—way more padding than any other supermarket uses. A Trader Joe’s customer relations representative says the extra packaging ensures safe transportation and efficient stacking. It also means the chain can sort and deliver its own produce and doesn’t have to install scales at its checkout counters. That saves the store and its customers money, but it’s wasteful and irritating, particularly if you want to buy more or fewer items than come in a single package. And even no-frills 7-Elevens and corner stores can handle selling individual pieces of fruit without scales. Trader Joe’s rep says the company is rolling out compostable packaging and “selling some of our produce out of its package.” Well, there’s an idea that could bear fruit.

HAVE A PROBLEM? Oh yes, you do. Go to motherjones.com/consumer-retorts to vent about annoying products and corporate policies. Selected entries will get MoJo swag.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate