The largest U.S. grocer is set to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in supermarkets as the trend to buck single-use plastics continues to grow.
Kroger Co. made the announcement Thursday that it would remove the single-use bags from its 63-store QFC chain in the Pacific Northwest next year and eliminate them from all 2,800 Kroger-owned stores by 2025.
“This is the way things are headed and we figured we should be in front of that,” said Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president for corporate affairs.
Currently the U.S. generates more than four million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps a year while less than 13% of the plastic is recycled according to data from the EPA.
Plastic-bag manufacturers and other businesses have pushed back against laws set by the government as they will directly impede their business. States such as Pennsylvania have prevented bans from taking place as they have claimed the ban will impact jobs in their local state.
In the statement, Kroger said they would comply with laws against plastic packaging bans as the ban will eliminate six billion bags a year.. As well, they explained that the very long seven-year timeline will give customers who might not agree with the ban time to adjust.
Kroger said it would first offer paper bags instead of plastic and sell reusable bags for roughly $1 to $2, depending on the market, with a goal of getting all customers to adopt reusable bags over the next seven years.