Do you shop at Kroger? If you do, you will be one step closer to helping keep plastic out of landfills and oceans thanks to a proactive move by the supermarket chain to ban plastic bags from all of its stores by 2025.
Cincinnati-based Kroger announced that its QFC (Quality Food Center) stores, located in Washington and Oregon, would be its first division to eliminate plastic bags by 2019 with its other divisions following suit.
"As part of our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, we are phasing out use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags and transitioning to reusable bags in our stores by 2025," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."
The company's other divisions include Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer and Ralph's.
Kroger's other commitments
The company has also committed to diverting 90 percent of its waste away from landfills by 2020. Last year, Kroger recycled 66.15 million pounds of plastic and 2.43 billion pounds of cardboard recycled in 2017.
In 2011, Kroger announced it was ridding Bisphenol A (BPA) from its store brand canned foods and purchasing BPA-free paper for its store receipts.
The company first removed the chemical from its "Our Brands" infant and toddler products. By 2017, 92 percent of its Our Brands canned goods had non-BPA lining.
Grocery store analyst David J. Livingston thinks Kroger’s move might encourage other retailers to take make similar changes. "This stuff could be perfectly safe, but if the customers think it’s not, then Kroger is making this move to keep them happy," he observed.
Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in May 2011.