In an effort to reduce plastic waste, Kroger Co., one of the largest supermarket companies in the United States, plans to end the use of plastic bags across all its major chains by 2025. The company, which is made up of Ralphs, Harris Teeter, Food 4 Less, Pick ‘n Save and Kroger, owns about 2,700 supermarkets across the country.
Kroger is encouraging its customers to switch to reusable bags in order to curb the huge amount of waste single-use plastic bags create each year, which end up in the world’s bodies of water and harms marine ecosystems.
“We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns,” Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and COO, said in a statement. “That’s why, starting today at QFC, we will begin the transition to more sustainable options.”
The company will start at its Seattle-based QFC “to phase out single-use plastic bags” by 2019,” PR Newswire reported.
Kroger’s announcement comes as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment.
“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,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “It’s a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations.”
Under the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment:
- Kroger’s goal to divert 90% of waste from the landfill by 2020. Of the waste diverted today, 66.15 million pounds of plastic and 2.43 billion pounds of cardboard were recycled in 2017.
- Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue Program sent more than 91 million pounds of safe nutritious food to local food banks and pantries in 2017. Kroger provided more than 325 million meals to families in need last year, in food and funds combined.
The plan also gained the company recognition in the sixth spot on Fortune magazine’s Change the World 2018 list. According to PR Newswire, “the recognition highlights the work of 57 big companies across the world using their resources to solve societal problems.”