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What Does Trader Joe’s Do With Old Flowers? (Explained)

What Does Trader Joe's Do With Old Flowers

Trader Joe’s has become a go-to spot for many things, including affordable, fresh flowers. Since most shops get a shipment of flowers each day, what does Trader Joe’s do with old flowers?

More Trader Joe’s stores are donating their old flowers or are ensuring that they are disposed of in the most ethical ways, such as through composting. The chain has also made a lot of efforts to make their packaging and sourcing of flowers more sustainable and environmentally conscious. 

With Trader Joe’s stores continually making strides towards being a more responsible retailer, their flower selection has grown in popularity due to their responsible efforts and affordable prices. 

Trader Joe’s Flower Disposal Practices

One of the many things that sets Trader Joe’s apart from other retailers is that they get a new shipment of flowers every single day.

They do sell a lot of flowers, but they don’t sell out every day. Since they make a commitment to always providing fresh flowers to their customers, the older ones are usually taken off the floor. 

Flowers in usable condition may be donated, while others that have started to wilt or die will be composted or thrown out.

Trader Joe’s is known for their very generous donations of just about anything and everything they can no longer sell but hasn’t gone bad. This allows them to maintain their commitment to freshness while also eliminating a lot of unnecessary waste. 

What Happens to Old Flowers at Trader Joe’s?

Not all Trader Joe’s stores will operate in the exact same ways, but as a major retailer, a lot of standards are shared across most or all stores.

It’s been policy for this chain for a long time to work with community partners to find opportunities to recycle or donate when possible. This policy extends to flowers as well. 

If Trader Joe’s can’t sell through their daily stock of flowers, they will often donate them or recycle them as they can. If all else fails, they will have to be disposed of. The good news is that the majority of flowers can be composted. 

Trader Joe’s Flower Waste Management 

Trader Joe’s has taken steps to avoid contributing to excess waste through their flower sales.

They’ve ditched the typical cheap plastic wrap, foil, and ribbon that most bouquets are wrapped in and they offer reusable packaging as an alternative.

They are roomy, they’re inexpensive, and you can use them for more than just picking up fresh flowers. The reusable bags typically cost about a dollar and they have been fashioned from recycled material. 

Sustainability Efforts For Flowers At Trader Joe’s 

Many Trader Joe’s shops are becoming more conscious about where they are getting their flowers from. Not only can this bolster the quality of their selection, but they are hampering unethical flower farming efforts.

For instance, some Trader Joe’s have partnered with VeriFlora, who helps them stock flowers that are ethically sourced. 

At this point, it’s not known what percentage of flowers stocked at a typical Trader Joe’s are sourced through VeriFlora or are either organic or ethically sourced.

They do not advertise this, but given the trajectory of Trader Joe’s business practices towards being more responsible retailers, it’s likely they’ll continue trying to find ways to buy flowers from responsible growers. 

What Kind Of Flowers Does Trader Joe’s Sell?

Trader Joe’s is known for having a pretty eclectic bevvy of flowers and plants that changes often. You’ll typically find a mixture of local, in-season selections, traditionally popular flowers like tulips and roses, herbs, green plants, and fillers to build bouquets. 

Many Trader Joe’s will help customers who want to place orders for specific flowers or floral arrangements, but they are somewhat limited on what types of orders they can fulfill. 

Since flowers circulate through stores quickly and the company aims to make strategic partnerships with flower growers, they are able to keep their price points down.

Coupled with smart displays, flowers tend to sell very well at these stores, helping to generate good profits. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Trader Joe’s Donate Flowers?

Practices may vary per store, but Trader Joe’s shops have donated their flowers to local community organizations that could benefit from their beauty. This could include places such as hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and more. 

As flowers can be a luxury that many cannot afford, this donation process brings joy to many people who otherwise may not have access to fresh flowers. 

Are Trader Joe’s Flowers Ethical?

Not all Trader Joe’s flowers are ethically or locally sourced, but the chain has made improvements to their sourcing practices.

Stores will purchase flowers based on what’s in season and what’s available in close proximity since they take in new shipments daily. 

Why Does Trader Joe’s Give Away Flowers? 

Trader Joe’s, as a retailer, doesn’t like to contribute to waste as much as possible. They have always had policies in place to donate unused products that are still in consumable or usable condition so that those in need can benefit from what might not sell on the shelves. 

Final Thoughts 

The next time you’re in the market for a fresh selection of flowers, Trader Joe’s should be at the top of your list. Not only are you going to find flowers that are in season at fantastic price points, but you’ll feel better about supporting their floral business given what the chain does with their old flowers. 

Trader Joe’s has become known for their fantastic selection of quality florals, whether you want to purchase singles to build your own bouquet or you want a premade arrangement. They have eliminated a lot of the waste associated with selling flowers, and they continue to try and keep their floral business as eco-friendly as they can when the opportunity presents itself. 

If you’re curious about what your local Trader Joe’s does with old flowers, don’t hesitate to ask. Most stores will have dedicated staff that helps arrange all of their donations, and they are usually open to hearing suggestions about where to donate unused items. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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