Trader Joe's: Ban Styrofoam packaging and we'll come shop

Encourage Trader Joe's to fight plastic pollution. Pledge to buy a gift card if they do.

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Campaign Creator

Natalia Rankine-Galloway

Alexandria, VA | University employee, conscious consumer, proud mom

Campaign Creator

Campaign Progress

Together, 203 customers pledged to buy $10,585 worth of gift cards.

  • Business

    Trader Joe's


    Ban Styrofoam Packaging

    Why This Matters

    Styrofoam is toxic and cannot be recycled. Plus, there are many eco-friendly, safe alternatives.

    Goal One

    When we collect $10,000 in pledges to buy gift cards...

    We will deliver a letter to Trader Joe's CEO Dan Bane to officially make the ask on behalf of the whole group.

    This is just the first goal to get us off to a strong start. After reaching this goal, we will set higher pledge goals with new actions and tactics until the business agrees.


  • By Natalia Rankine-Galloway, Campaign Creator

    I love Trader Joe’s. Yes, I realize using the word “love” about a supermarket may seem strange, but as a foodie, I count on TJ's to stock the unusual, the fresh, and the tasty. There’s just one thing wrong with our relationship: I can’t get my hands on fresh produce without having to buy them on dreaded, environment-destroying polystyrene (AKA Styrofoam). Why TJ's?!

    I’m a recycling fanatic. I sort, I reuse, I reduce. That’s why it’s so frustrating to me that TJ still stocks Styrofoam. Billions of pounds of polystyrene packaging are used each year in the US — mostly in the form of single-use products — and polystyrene is an environmental hazard on many fronts.1 It's toxic to the workers who make it. It's produced using petroleum and does not degrade in landfills. It also leaches toxic chemicals into foods.

    I don’t care to associate any of this with my happy, laid-back Trader Joe’s experience.

    That’s why I’m asking Trader Joe’s to take the leap and transition ALL of its packaging to more environmentally-friendly options.

    Some cities, like Washington, DC and Seattle, have already banned polystyrene. In those cities, Trader Joe’s has found more sustainable solutions. If enough customers are speaking up and putting our dollars behind this change, Trader Joe’s will see that ditching polystyrene is a real benefit to the company, to the customers, and to the planet.

    1Earth Resource Foundation

  • I love Trader Joe's. Why are you targeting them?

    Me too! That’s why I want to ask them to do better so my shopping experience can do the least environment harm. I hope that Trader Joe’s will live up to its values and be a leader in the industry.

    Why Styrofoam? Why not all plastics?

    We’re starting with styrofoam because it’s environmental impact is the greatest. Very few recycling facilities process it. As a result, it breaks into small pieces and never biodegrades, polluting our environment permanently. It is also toxic -- leaking chemicals into food and hurting the workers that produce the material. Plus, there are a lot of eco-friendly alternatives, and groceries stores already have to adopt these alternatives in jurisdictions that have banned Styrofoam.

    I really see this ask as an ask for Trader Joe's to be a leader in its industry to hold itself to a higher environmental standard. Hopefully they can see that customers want this too.

    $10,000 doesn't seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things. Why'd you choose that to be your first goal?

    I want to make sure other paying customers are with me before I raise the issue with Trader Joe’s headquarters. When we reach the $10,000 goal of pledges, I’ll a letter to Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane. When you pledge, you’ll be added to this campaign’s mailing list so you’ll receive updates. I’ll also post updates on the “Updates” tab of this website. Depending on the response, I’ll set our next pledge goal amount, and a new action that I will take when the goal is reached.

  • Update 1: 90% to Goal 1!

    January 15, 2018

    Super excited to be so close to reaching my first goal. Every time I shop at Trader Joe’s, I wish I could do something about the plastic waste, and now I really feel like I can. Thank you all so much for the support! Let's keep the momentum going

Reasons for pledging

Campaign Creator

Natalia Rankine-Galloway

Alexandria, VA | University employee, conscious consumer, proud mom

Campaign Creator

How We Create Change

Single Pledge

You pledge to buy a gift card on the condition that the business agrees to a positive change.

Pledges altogether

Other customers do the same.

Pledges on a scale

Together, we can tip the scale to make the positive change a reality!

It's a win-win-win!

Win for you, win for businesses, and win for the common good!

Frequently Asked Questions

Spendrise uses the power we have as customers to make businesses more socially and environmentally responsible. We all spend money, and where we choose to spend money has a big impact. Through Spendrise, crowds of us can pool our spending together to get a company's attention and change businesses as usual.

A pledge is just that -- you are saying that you’ll buy a gift card at a business IF the business makes the change a campaign requests. You will not be charged until we achieve a campaign victory. We will keep you up to date via email about the campaign process and when you will be charged.

Gift cards are a simple and flexible way to fulfill your pledge to spend at a business. When a campaign succeeds, we load your pledge onto the company's gift card, and then you can use it just like cash when you shop there afterwards. Or make it an actual gift and share it with your friends and family!

Companies listen when customers speak up -- they know that real dollars are on the line. Our platform takes the power of group action to the next level by going beyond anonymous signatures to leverage the awesome power of group spending.

Once we hit the first campaign goal, we will deliver a letter to the headquarters of the business we are targeting, and give them an opportunity to respond. Depending on their response, we will raise the pledge goal to get more people and spending mobilized, and take bolder actions to raise awareness for the issue at hand to further pressure the business. Each business has a tipping point at which they see it’s in their best interest to listen to the demands of the people. Spendrise can help you get there.

Either you or someone you like! Your willingness to buy a gift card from the business shows that you (or whoever you give the gift card) are a real customer -- someone who will spend money at the business!

 Anybody can create a campaign, and it's absolutely free. The first step is to contact the Spendrise team with your campaign idea, and we'll help you get started with your own page just like this. In the past, we have worked with schools, non-profits, community groups, and everyday people to create campaigns.

Not necessarily, we see your pledges to buy a gift card as money you would likely spend anyways if you were a customer at the business. The gift card amount you choose is completely up to you! We are all for being thoughtful and intentional about where (or whether) you spend. We don't want more consumerism, we want more consumer power!

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