Piers are structural. This necessitates that they are installed correctly with every detail.
As with most construction defects, this is a simple problem of unskilled and unsupervised workers. The problem is compounded by a contractor culture that allows a QC program to run as a "paper" generating endeavor completely disassociated from the facts of field performance. In many cases, it's evident that there is no inspection. This is such a case...
Grout must be installed where to concrete conditions conform to the manufacturers recommendations to assure a strong bond between the materials (concrete and grout). Typically, this involves a rough surface, clear of debris, and free of any existing concrete surface coating, and similar.
Well, in this case, it's hard to imagine how these piers ended up with plastic trash being embedded at the bonding joint, among other concerns.
One certainty, there was no engaged contractor QC or owner involvement.
In the future, the piers will need to be re-grouted as routine maintenance. Unknown cost.