Earlier this week, activists from Greenpeace brought a 15-foot tall “plastic monster” to the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee, to raise awareness about plastic pollution. The plastic monster has also been traveling through the state of Florida to appear at a variety of different Publix grocery store locations, in an attempt to shame the company into ditching single-use plastic bags.
Publix became a target for Greenpeace activists after the company ranked extremely low on a survey of supermarkets in the US, which gauged how much effort the stores were putting into eliminating single-use plastics.
The survey found that Publix hasn’t put in very much effort at all, ranking 15 out of 20 with a score of just 7.1 out of a possible 100 points. Greenpeace also noted that Publix has been financially supportive of measures to prevent any type of ban on single-use plastics.
According to some of the most recent estimates of plastic use, published by Australia’s Ocean Crusaders, shoppers around the world use roughly 500 billion single-use plastic bags every single year, which is about a million bags used every minute across the planet.
Greenpeace plastic campaigner David Pinsky said that a shift away from plastic bags is popular among customers.
“Publix continues to demonstrate that it cares more about maintaining its ability to use cheap plastics than answering its customers. Publix needs to get out of the way and get on the right side of history by ending its reliance on single-use plastic,” Pinksy said in a statement, according to Orlando Weekly.
Publix insists that it has been doing its best to reduce plastic pollution, and the company says that they have a new plastic reduction program that has saved more than 6 billion plastic bags.
Publix also says that they offer recycling bins outside the stores, but critics aren’t very impressed with these measures considering recent revelations that most waste that is thought to be recycled is now ending up in landfills, since countries like China and Malaysia have decided to stop purchasing recycled waste.