PARKERSBURG – Kroger eliminates plastic bags for single use and in 2025 switches to reusable bags in stores, the company announced.
The first retail division to phase out the bags is the Seattle-based QFC, which the company expects to complete in 2019.
"As part of our Zero Hunger-Zero Waste obligation, we stop using it in one go, throwing away plastic bags and switching to re-usable bags in our stores in 2025," Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of Kroger, said. "It is a daring move that will better protect our planet for future generations."
Some estimates suggest that every year 100 billion plastic bags for single use are discarded in the United States. Less than 5 percent of the plastic bags are recycled annually in America and plastic bags for single use are the fifth most common plastic for single use in the environment.
Local Kroger & # 39; s are located in the Mid-Atlantic region.
"Although we do not know when this will take place for Mid-Atlantic, we know that QFC will be the first division to complete this transition in 2019. All other divisions will switch by 2025," said Allison McGee, manager of business affairs, Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division.
Kroger will ask customer feedback and work with groups and the community to ensure a responsible transition.
"We listen very carefully to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concern," Mike Donnelly, executive vice president and COO of Kroger's, said. "That is why we are starting at QFC today on the transition to more sustainable options, which is in line with our Restock Kroger commitment to achieve our goal through social impact."
Kroger & # 39; s announcement follows several other Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiatives, including:
* Kroger's goal is to remove 90 percent of the waste from the landfill by 2020. Of the waste that has been diverted today, 66.15 million pounds of plastic and 2.43 billion pounds of cardboard were recycled in 2015.
* Kroger & # 39; s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue Program distributed 91 million pounds of food to local food banks and pantries in 2017. Kroger delivered more than 325 million meals to families in need last year, in food and funds combined.
Earlier this week, Kroger was named after the Change the World 2018 list of Fortune magazine, which made its debut in sixth place. The recognition emphasizes the work of 57 large companies around the world that use their resources to solve social problems. The company was recognized for its social impact plan Zero Hunger | Zero waste.
The Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division operates 108 stores, 113 pharmacies and 87 fuel centers and a growing number of online order locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. It is Based in Roanoke, Va.