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Kroger set to phase out single-use plastic bags

Kroger shoppers soon won’t need to choose between paper and plastic. The company will be eschewing single-use plastic bags and transition all of its stores to reusable bags by 2025, Kroger announced Thursday. Seattle-based QFC set to be the first of its banners to transition away from single-use bags, with the move expected 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," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."

The company said that some estimates place the number of plastic bags thrown away annually at 100 billion, making them the fifth-most common single-use plastic found in the environment by magnitude. Kroger noted that the effort came partially as the result of listening to its customers, as well as non-governmental organizations and its community partners.

“We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns,” said 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.”

As part of these efforts, Kroger recently announced Zero Hunger | Zero Waste efforts that included a goal of diverting 90% of its waste from the landfill by 2020 and bolstering its Food Rescue Program. The company said the program sent more than 91 million pounds of food to local food banks and pantries last year. In the past year, the retailer said it had provided more than 325 million meals to families in need through a combination of food and funds.
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