One of the nation’s biggest grocery chains just said “enough!” to plastic bags
It’s Friday, August 24, and one of the nation’s biggest grocery chains just said “enough!” to plastic bags.
Chances are, you’ve probably shopped at a store owned by Kroger. The Ohio-based grocery chain owns regional classics like QFC, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, and more. Kroger has been around since 1883, but it’s no dinosaur! In response to growing concern about the effect of plastic on the environment, the company has decided to ban plastic bags at all of its stores by the year 2025. It’s the first major U.S. retailer to do so.
The decision, announced yesterday, means the 6 billion plastic bags sent home with customers at Kroger checkout counters every year will no longer end up in a landfill. The plastic bag phaseout will begin next year in the Pacific Northwest (Grist’s hometown, Seattle, already banned plastic bags in 2017). Kroger also announced plans to reduce the 123 million pounds of waste it sends to landfills annually by 90 percent in the next two years. That means the chain will have to recycle four times the amount of stuff it currently recycles (we hope it has a good plan in place given the recycling crisis we’ve created with China).
Instead of plastic, shoppers can choose paper bags, purchase a reusable bag for a dollar a pop, or *gasp* bring their own bags from home. Although, and it brings me no joy to tell you this, your massive tote bag collection is ruining the planet too, pal.
The plastic ban announcement is sure to put pressure on other major grocery chains to take similar steps. And more and more cities and states are churning out legislation that cuts down on plastic in big stores.
How will the 9 million people who shop at Kroger stores cope without their plastic bags? I truly don’t know, but Kroger thinks we’re ready.
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