Kroger Fights Plastic Pollution
Single-use plastic bags have long been a bane to environmentalists trying to clean up our oceans and coastlines.
Kroger’s decision is huge. The Cincinnati-based chain, which operates 2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, stocks about 6 BILLION bags each year and serves about 9 MILLION customers a day.
According to CNBC, Kroger will start the phase-out at its Seattle chain of QFC stores. It expects to be plastic bag-free there some time in 2019.
“There is a broader shift by companies to reduce waste, especially plastic,” CNBC notes. “Disney, Starbucks, Marriott, and McDonald's are getting rid of plastic straws. Dunkin' Donuts is phasing out polystyrene foam cups by 2020. Ikea plans to eliminate single-use plastic products from its shelves by 2020, including straws.”
We say it’s a great start. The push to remove plastics from the environment is gathering momentum, including here at COAST is Clear where we donate 5% of sales of our curated products such as reusable straws, totes and water bottles.
We applaud Kroger’s initiative.
"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," Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, said. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."
In a press release, the grocery chain estimated …
- 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year,
- 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.
Kroger's decision to sack plastic bags came on the heels of several other Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiatives, including a goal to divert 90% of waste from the landfill by 2020.In recognition of its environmental initiatives, the chain earned the number 6 spot on Fortune magazine's Change the World 2018 list.