Southern California environment news and trends

Whole Foods, Safeway earn top seafood marks from Greenpeace

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Earlier this month, Greenpeace released their 2012 Carting Away the Oceans report (AKA CATO). It found that grocery chains Safeway and Whole Foods are the first retailers to earn a “green” rating for the sustainability of the seafood sold in their stores.

“Safeway and Whole Foods have transformed themselves into true industry leaders,” said Greenpeace’s Senior Markets Campaigner Casson Trenor in a press release. “There is certainly still more work to be done, but we celebrate the achievements of these companies and eagerly await similar actions from other retailers posed to embrace sustainability to a greater degree.”

Both stores earned a rating of 7.1 out of 10, with 7 being the lowest score that qualifies as “green” in the annual report, launched in 2008. Greenpeace was especially enamored with Whole Foods’ recent Earth Day-related pledge to stop selling “red-listed” seafood species, a move we reported on last month. To be red-listed, a species is determined to be from depleted waters or collected through destructive means.

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LA closer to considering single-use bag ban

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A Los Angeles City Council meeting this week moved ahead with the recommendation that all single-use plastic and paper bags be eliminated from the city’s supermarkets and food stores.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the council’s Energy and Environment Committee proposed an environmental review on such a ban as well as an ordinance that would establish it. If the ban were to be approved, stores would have a six-month “warning” period where plastic bags would have to be phased out. Once the ban would theoretically kick in, stores would have to charge 10 cents per paper bag used in any given transaction. Six months after that, paper bags would be eliminated as well, requiring all shoppers to bolster their tote bag collection.

“People will adjust,” said Councilman Dennis Zine to the L.A. Times. “They’ll adapt… and learn to take it with them,” he added in regards to reusable bags.

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