Today, Kroger Co. announced its plan to phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags across its 15 brands of grocery stores by 2025, starting with Seattle-based QFC in 2019.
Kroger is America’s largest grocery-only chain and the first major chain to make a bag ban pledge. Kroger has 173 grocery stores in Georgia.
Every day, Americans throw away an estimated 300 million single-use plastic bags. Less than five percent of those bags are recycled, so bags are one of the most common single-use plastics found in the environment. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade and persist for hundreds of years.
“Nothing we use for five minutes should be able to pollute our environment for centuries,” said Jennette Gayer, Environment Georgia's executive director. “Kroger’s commitment is a big step forward in the Wildlife Over Waste movement.”
Environment Georgia launched its Wildlife Over Waste campaign in late May, with the goal of getting states and local governments to eliminate single-use plastics.
“We’ve known for decades that plastic pollution is harming our wildlife,” Gayer continued. “And we’ve all been reminded of this recently -- whether seeing horrifying video of a turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril, or the images of several dozen plastic bags being removed from the bellies of whales. Kudos to Kroger for taking this action.”
This is just the latest socially-responsible action from Kroger. In another recent zero waste-related initiative, Kroger set a goal to divert 90 percent of its waste from the landfill by 2020.