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Whole Foods has launched its own sustainable packaging guidelines for suppliers of body care and supplement products. They mandate that suppliers reduce the use of plastic in product packaging, encourage the switch to glass when possible, and limit acceptable packaging materials to those that are easily reused or recycled and/or feature the highest percentage of PCR content. Are retailers’ requirements becoming too heavy-handed?

Petroleum-derived plastics are the packaging materials most likely to be attacked for their sustainability, or lack thereof, writes consultant Sterling Anthony. “That’s unfortunate, to the extent that such attacks are based on erroneous beliefs,” he says. “Plastics, as a class, consume a miniscule percent of petroleum, and of that, only a small percent is used for packaging.” Is plastic packaging being unfairly targeted?

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