Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. announced Aug. 23 that it will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags across all its grocery store brands by 2025.
The effort will start with Seattle-based store chain QFC. The Cincinnati-based parent company expects that 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," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."
The company said it will work with customers, NGOs and community partners on the transition.
"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 chief operating officer. "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."
Kroger's Zero Hunger/Zero Waste program includes a goal to divert 90 percent of waste from the landfill by 2020. Of the waste diverted today, 66.15 million pounds of plastic and 2.43 billion pounds of cardboard were recycled in 2017.
Kroger owns store chains nationwide, including Kroger, Fred Meyer and Ralphs.