Greenpeace Calls H-E-B the Worst Grocery Chain for Dealing With Plastic Waste

click to enlarge The effect of plastic bag pollution on a river. - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
The effect of plastic bag pollution on a river.
H-E-B has a plastic problem. Or so says Greenpeace.

In a new report, the environmental group called out the San Antonio-based supermarket chain as the worst of 20 large grocers in dealing with plastic waste. Not in the lowest quartile. Not they-kinda-didn't-place too well.

But dead fucking last.

H-E-B was not responsive to inquiries about its waste-reduction policies and gave "zero indication that H-E-B’s leadership is aware of the massive scale of the plastic pollution crisis," Greenpeace writes.

What's more, the environmental group said H-E-B's reduction plans for single-use plastic bags was "stuck in the 1990s," pointing out that the company has reintroduced plastic bags at several stores that had once done away with them.

In an emailed statement, H-E-B said it does not participate in surveys, which officials believed was the reason for its low score.

It added: "[A]s a two-time winner of the state’s highest environmental excellence award, and the developer of what we believe to be the nation’s most environmentally progressive LEED Gold grocery store, we have a longstanding and measurable commitment to environmental sustainability at H-E-B.”

Greenpeace named Aldi, Kroger and Albertson's — in that order — as the grocers doing the most to cut down on plastic waste. Even so, none of those in the report, including the top three, received a passing grade of 40 points out of 100.

According to Greenpeace, nearly 700 marine species have been affected by plastic waste in the ocean, much of it coming from single-use sources such as grocery bags. Up to 90% of seabirds, 33% of sea turtles and more than half of whale and dolphin species have injected potentially harmful plastic waste, according to the scientific data it cites.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.


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