Is Your Supermarket Fighting for Healthy Oceans?

by David Pinsky

August 15, 2018

Find out which supermarkets are the best and worst in Greenpeace’s brand new sustainable seafood ranking.

It's baaack! Check out which supermarkets are the best and worst in our brand new sustainable seafood ranking.

Supermarkets play a big role in ensuring that marine life is protected from destructive fishing and plastic pollution. How? They buy and sell a lot of seafood every year, have enormous single-use plastic footprints (no supermarket could actually tell Greenpeace just how big its annual plastic footprint was), and many have global operations, including Walmart and Amazon (which owns Whole Foods). This means that the choices these companies make have dramatic consequences for the world’s oceans and all of us.

Since 2008, Greenpeace has ranked supermarkets on seafood sustainability. In 2008, all 20 supermarkets we evaluated failed. Today, 90% received a passing score or higher! And while this is really encouraging news, we need to keep pushing them as fish stocks continue to collapse, plastics choke our oceans, and seafood workers remain at risk of labor and human rights abuses.

We know that supermarkets care about what their customers think, and we are proud to have worked with supporters nationwide to call for sustainable seafood from supermarkets over the years—remember our sustainable seafood campaigns on Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Walmart?

As climate change transforms our world and oceans, and plastic pollution chokes marine life and enters our food systems, inaction is no longer an option. We have the collective power to ensure healthy oceans, seafood workers’ rights, and a plastic-free future, and it is important to know where big companies stand. That’s why today we’re releasing our brand new Supermarket Seafood Ranking.

Click here to see how your supermarket ranks!


Together, we can continue to demand leadership from the nation’s biggest supermarkets for healthy oceans and to protect seafood workers’ rights.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

  1. Know the facts. Check out our Supermarket Ranking to see whether your grocer is advocating for ocean health, seafood workers’ rights, and an end to single-use plastics.
  2. Reduce your plastic footprint. Ocean critters can choke on plastic pollution and digest plastic particles—contaminating the entire food chain. Show supermarkets you expect them to ditch plastic by reducing your own use with these handy tips: Bring your own reusable bags; purchase loose fruits and vegetables or shop at the farmers market; buy in bulk and bring your own glass container or mesh baggies for grains, nuts, and other loose items; avoid items wrapped in excess plastic.
  3. Eat less seafood. Today’s demand for seafood far outweighs what can be sustainably sourced. Reducing seafood consumption now can help lessen the pressure on our oceans, ensuring fish for the future. For sustainability reasons, absolutely do not buy orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, or bigeye tuna. If you do buy seafood, use the Seafood Watch app to buy only green rated “Best Choices.”
  4. Show the world it’s time to break free from plastic! Next time you’re at the supermarket, take pictures of the ridiculous single-use plastic packaging and post them to social media with the hashtag #pointlessplastic. Check out our toolkit for examples.
  5. Demand more sustainable, ethical seafood and an end to plastic pollution. To start, sign the petition asking retailers to ditch single-use packaging. Then take it to the next level: tell your local grocery store manager why you want healthy oceans and for it to address concerns about labor abuse, illegal fishing, and plastic pollution. If you are not satisfied with your grocer’s response, take your business elsewhere.

Thanks for adding your name today and telling supermarkets to ditch plastic packaging! Greenpeace will deliver your message to supermarket executives from Trader Joe’s to Walmart and ALDI.

David Pinsky

By David Pinsky

David authors Greenpeace USA’s annual seafood sustainability report for the nation’s largest supermarkets, holding major companies accountable and shifting seafood practices that have global impacts on our oceans.

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