Kroger will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags at all its supermarket chains by 2025.
Seattle-based grocer QFC will be the Kroger’s first retail division to phase out plastic bags. The company expects QFC’s transition to be completed in 2019.
Kroger said that as many as 100 billion single-use plastic bags may be thrown away in the US every year.
Currently, less than 5% 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, according to Kroger.
The supermarket chain aims to work with customers and NGOs to ensure a responsible transition.
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said: “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. It’s a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations.”
Mike Donnelly, Kroger COO, added: “We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns.
“That’s why, starting today at QFC, we will begin the transition to more sustainable options. This decision aligns with our Restock Kroger commitment to live our purpose through social impact.”
Last year Kroger announced it will aim to eliminate waste across the company by 2025. As part of its Zero Hunger Zero Waste Plan, the grocer has established a $10 million innovation fund within The Kroger Co. Foundation to address hunger, food waste and the relationship between the two.