ANOTHER grocery chain has made the leap – Kroger will completely phase out single-use plastic bags by 2025.
Kroger will soon be replacing its plastic bags with recyclable ones[/caption]
“It’s a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer said at the time about the initiative.
Around 100billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the United States alone every year.
And this is a number darkly colored by the fact that less than five percent of plastic bags are ever recycled.
“We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns,” said Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and COO in a statement previously.
WHICH STATES WILL BE AFFECTED
While Kroger is well on its way to banning plastic bags everywhere, some states have already adopted their own no-plastic policies.
That includes the following nine states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont.
Some of the states require shops to charge five or 10 cents for every bag purchased.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, single-use plastic or paper bags are not even permitted to be sold as an option.
Specific counties and cities have banned single-use plastic bags as well.
This includes Boulder, Colorado; Montgomery County, Maryland; Portland, Maine; New York, New York; and Washington, DC, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In 2019, Kroger began its plastic ban in its Seattle chain of QFC stores and has also implemented the rule in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In October, Kroger began its no-plastic rule in its mid-Atlantic division, which includes Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.
The first store to experience the new bagging policy was in Henrico County, Virginia.
Customers at affected stores are encouraged to bring their own bags or buy a 10-cent plastic or 99-cent tote bag.
The 10-cent plastic bag is made of 40 percent recycled material and can be used a total of 125 times instead of just once, making it a much more sustainable option.
The timeline for the rest of stores to implement the new bagging policy has not been released by Kroger yet, and Kroger did not immediately respond for comment.
Kroger has been involved in a few other programs as part of its Zero Hunger Zero Waste campaign.
The grocer has worked to divert 90 percent of waste from the landfill by 2020.
The company also sends tens of millions of pounds of nutritious food to local food banks and pantries every year.
Altogether, Kroger operates more than 2,500 stores across the country.
OTHER STORES WITH PLASTIC BANS
Several other well-known retailers have created their own restrictions regarding plastic bags.
The company decided last year that paper bags will be available to shoppers – but at a cost of five cents apiece.
This means all customers must bring their own bags or face a surcharge between 74 cents and $3.98, depending on the size and type of bag used.
While Walmart at-home deliveries will still use paper bags, 88 stores in Colorado and 99 in New York will be impacted.
Even bargain retailer Aldi has come on board with the Beyond the Bag initiative.
The chain already removed plastic bags from about 500 stores with the goal to phase them out at all 2,200 locations.
“We are thrilled to make this monumental pledge in support of our planet, which will remove 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation each year,” the retailer said at the time.
In the last week, Kroger employees have come forward alleging the grocer’s new payroll system is docking cash from their paychecks.
Plus, see if your town is on the list of locations where Kroger is unveiling a new mix and match food hall experience for shoppers.