Kroger announced it will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags across its family of stores by 2025.
The company's Seattle-based QFC will be the first retail division to begin the process. Kroger expects QFC's transition to be completed in 2019.
"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," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."
Some estimates suggest that 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year. Currently, less than five percent 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 by magnitude.
Kroger says it will solicit customer feedback and work with NGOs and community partners to ensure a responsible transition.
"We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns," says Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and COO. "That's why, starting today at QFC, we will begin the transition to more sustainable options. This decision aligns with our Restock Kroger commitment to live our purpose through social impact."