Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, will phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025. The grocer orders about 6 billion bags each year. WOW!
Based in Cincinnati, Kroger operates 2,779 stores in 35 states, serving almost 9 million people daily – 50 of those stores are in Indiana.
Kroger will start the project at its Seattle chain QFC, where it expects to be plastic-bag free by next year. Throughout the month of April, QFC will donate $1 for each reusable bag sold in its stores to The Nature Conservancy, a global nonprofit committed to protecting the earth’s lands and waters.
“With Earth Day approaching, we realized this was the perfect opportunity to accelerate the removal of single-use plastic in our stores and take the next bold step in our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey,” said Suzy Monford, president of QFC. “We listen closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns about use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags. This is why we are leading the change and inviting our customers to join us as we help to create zero waste neighborhoods.”
Last August, Kroger announced a national plan to eliminate single-use plastic bags in all stores as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative to end hunger in the communities it serves and eliminate waste across the company. In the announcement, QFC committed to being Kroger’s first market to make the complete transition.
Some estimates suggest that 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year. Currently, less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled annually in America, and single-use plastic bags are the fifth-most common single-use plastic found in the environment by magnitude.
All QFC stores will feature reusable bag displays, highlighting the $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy for each reusable bag purchased in April, up to $10,000. QFC will also continue to offer customers the ability to recycle plastic bags.
To learn more about Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, visit thekrogerco.com.