Responsible packaging

reusable bags

We offer a wide range of natural products, most of which need protection during shipping, storage and display. Perishable items prepared in our bakeries and delis — soups, salads, grab 'n go hot and cold foods — require food containers. Bulk foods and personal care items need bottles, jars or bags. And at the check stand, shoppers may ask for a bag to take their purchases home. From the largest shipping container to the smallest sample cup, we encourage and provide products that are minimally packaged and use materials that are reusable, compostable or recyclable.

By working with vendors, local government agencies, and industry organizations on waste-reduction initiatives, we try to be a leader in the responsible packaging movement. Our merchandisers seeks products and food service supplies that meet the following criteria.

PCC guidelines for packaging and food service items:

  1. Safe for consumers and their communities. Genetically engineered, plant-based materials, such as those derived from corn are to be avoided, if at all possible, as is Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonates.
  2. Made from recycled or renewable materials. Minimal virgin plastic or petroleum-based resins and no virgin wood fiber are allowed.
  3. Manufactured locally, whenever possible, and under conditions that incorporate safe practices for workers and clean production technologies.
  4. Designed to suit the needs of the product appropriately to avoid waste in manufacturing and disposal.
  5. Comply with regulatory requirements for collection, reuse and disposal. All compostables must be approved by Cedar Grove Composting.
  6. Perform well and at a reasonable cost.

More about: BPA, composting, plastic bottles, recycling, shopping bags

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New meat & seafood trays at PCC’s Seattle locations

New Earth ChoiceTM trays are in use in the meat & seafood depts. of our Seattle stores. Legislation passed by the City of Seattle prohibits the use of extruded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) trays in our Seattle stores as of July 1, 2010 and requires that replacement trays be either recyclable or approved by Cedar Grove Composting.

There are no recyclable trays available that meet our performance standards or tray size requirements. The Earth Choice trays are the only Cedar Grove Composting approved trays available. We have tested and rejected — due to inadequate performance — other potentially compostable trays.

Earth Choice Trays are made from IngeoTM, a plant-based plastic. Also known as PLA (Polyactic Acid) this biopolymer is made from corn sugar (dextrose), domestically sourced and manufactured by Nature Works LLC. The dextrose is made from a mixed stream of non-GMO and GMO corn. An exhaustive, 2 years-plus search for tray alternatives — that are either recyclable or Cedar Grove-approved compostable, perform well and available in the variety of sizes needed — left us with this one choice. We are working with tray manufacturers and our supply distributors (Bunzl and Service Paper) to source tray options that perform well, are not cost-prohibitive and made from 100 percent non-GMO ingredients.

Questions? Contact PCC at 206-547-1222 or email

Ideas? Contact:
Diana Chapman
Director of Sustainability

Learn more