El Cerrito Natural Update – Eliminate Plastic Packaging

Sixty-three (63) people signed our letter to El Cerrito Natural at our booth at the 4th of July Festival.

I presented your letters and signatures to the General Manager on July 23.  El Cerrito Grocery is an employee-owned business. The GM, store supervisor, and staff all very much want to eliminate toxic plastic, and I learned that it will take time.

Good grocery business is complex: how to meet the desires of customers so they will keep patronizing the store, how to keep produce fresh, and how to conduct business in alignment with the owners’ values.

Coincidentally, the leadership team had a scheduled meeting this afternoon. On the agenda was the subject of plastic. The GM promised to take the letters to the meeting and share our request.

In the immediate, the store plans to eliminate clamshell lettuce that duplicates what is sold in bulk, i.e., the mixed salad greens. Some of the specialty lettuces are not available in bulk and the staff is concerned that customers will abandon El Cerrito Natural if they cannot buy those items there. I suggested they poll the customers for their preferences. The GM said they welcome customers to tell them their preferences as that helps them make decisions about what to stock in the store.

At the Annex, they have eliminated the biocompostable cups and brought in metal cups for water. They welcome people to bring their own containers for takeout, instead of using the paperboard containers they provide.

Thanks to everyone for your support to make El Cerrito healthier for all.

Barbara Chan