Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 05:49 am
The Kroger Co. , America’s largest supermarket chain, will ban the use of plastic bags across its stores by 2025.
Kroger, the parent company of Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets, which operates Pick ‘n Save, announced this week it will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO called the decision a “bold move that will better protect the planet for future generations.”
Some estimates suggest 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the United States annually.
Currently, less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled in America per year and single-use plastic bags are the fifth-most common single-use plastic found in the environment, according to Kroger.
“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 chief operating officer said in a written statement.
The company’s Seattle-based QFC will be the company’s first retail division to phase out plastic bags. Kroger expects QFC’s transition to be complete in 2019.
Other retailers across the country have decided to eliminate plastic bags including IKEA, which started offering large blue reusable bags about 10 years ago, Costco and Sam’s Club, which uses cardboard boxes, and local Co-Ops, including Outpost Natural Foods, which uses paper bags.
Earlier this week, Kroger was named to Fortune magazine’s Change the World 2018 list, debuting in the sixth spot. The recognition highlights the work of 57 big companies across the world using their resources to solve societal problems. The company was recognized for its social impact plan Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.
The 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.