Tell Costco: Stop supersizing wasteful packaging

Tell Costco: Stop supersizing wasteful packaging

What on earth is Costco doing?

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Costco’s shelves are packed with oversized plastic packaging.

Our world needs to stop making single-use plastics that pollute the oceans and kill marine wildlife. Wasteful packaging is an obvious place to cut much of that waste.

Yet Costco’s stores are selling small products — some as little as a 2-inch jar of cosmetic cream — wrapped in an oversized 10-inch by 11-inch hard plastic or coated cardboard shell.

We need to tell Costco to stop supersizing wasteful packaging.2

Plastic packaging pollutes the ocean and harms wildlife.

Costco has gone big on packaging even as deadly plastic pollution keeps putting more ocean-dwelling animals in harm’s way.

Every 45 seconds, roughly a garbage truck’s worth of plastic is spewed into our oceans — waste that sooner or later harms and often kills incalculable numbers of sea birds, sea turtles, marine mammals, fish and other wildlife every year.1

Just a few months ago, a sperm whale washed up dead on the shores of Hawaii. Plastic debris was found amid the trash in the whale’s stomach — trash that scientists suspect may have contributed to its death.2

Take action to tell Costco to cut its packaging waste.

Costco claims there’s a method to its packaging madness. A consultant for the company tried to explain that standardizing packaging size — even if the product is teensy and the package extra-large — allows the store to more efficiently move merchandise from truck to stock room to store shelves.3

OK, sure. Let’s concede that this one-jumbo-size-fits-all packaging scheme may make a certain business sense. But it makes no sense for the health of our planet and wildlife.

We’re counting on Environmental Action supporters like you to tell Costco to find a better way. Costco should cut its packaging waste now.

We can live without jumbo-sized packaging. We can’t live without the oceans and all of the life it makes possible.

Thank you for joining us in standing up for the oceans and the wildlife that call them home,

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  1. Margaret Spring and Rashid Sumaila, Ph.D., “US needs a national action plan to stem the tide of plastic pollution,” The Hill, July 27, 2022.
  2. Kerry Breen, “Hawaii researchers found fishing nets, plastic bags and traps in stomach of dead sperm whale,” CBS News, February 2, 2023.
  3. Dominick Reuter, “Why Costco uses curiously large packaging for tiny products,” Business Insider, February 26, 2023.