America’s largest grocery store chain will be eliminating its 6 billion plastic bags per year

Days ago, we wrote about the amazing news from Australia, where 80 percent of the use of disposable plastic bags in the country was dramatically cut in just three months time. Two of the largest supermarket chains banned the bags, making a drastic difference and the citizens may vote for leaders promising to do more. Now it looks like the same thing is taking place in America, where the largest grocery store chain, Kroger, has promised to phase out plastic bags by 2025. It’s great news for everyone concerned about plastics ending up in the ocean, landfills, and everywhere else.

 

The grocery store mega-chain based in Cincinnati orders an astonishing 6 billion bags each year. Considering that the two Australian stores eliminated an estimated 1.5 billion bags with their ban, this means that Kroger’s ban has an even greater positive impact on the environment.

 

Of course, the U.S. still has a severe problem, with 100 billion plastic bags thrown away each year, but it’s certainly going to help.

 

According to CBS News, Kroger has “2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, serving almost 9 million people daily through two dozen different grocery chains.”

 

The project goes into effect first next year in the Seattle chain called QFC. The progressive city became the first in the U.S. to ban plastic drinking straws and utensils, and now they say goodbye to single-use plastic bags.

 

It’s a sound move to start in Seattle, a community unlikely to resist a ban on single-use plastic bags. Why? Well in Australia, when Woolworths and Coles started implementing their ban, some customers put up an angry resistance, believe it or not. It even started to affect their sales initially.

 

According to the NY Post:

 

“The chains said the ban was initially met with such outrage that Woolworths experienced flailing sales. And one Coles shopper was reportedly so frustrated he couldn’t get a free plastic bag that he threatened an employee and grabbed him by the throat. This led to Coles sporadically backtracking on the 11-cent tax for a reusable plastic bag and handing them out for free, citing customers’ struggle to adjust. (They’ve since reinstated the tax.)”

After some time went by and customers found out how easy it is to use other types of bags, the resistance dissipated. C’mon people, it’s not that hard, right? It’s just a matter of changing our habits and bringing along our favorite reusable bags.

 

We applaud Kroger for taking a positive step for the environment and hope that other supermarkets and retailers take notice. It’s going to have an enormous positive impact to phase out all that plastic. Sure, we’d like the ban to be implemented faster and in more stores, but the fact the nation’s largest grocery store chain has taken this step on their own is wonderful.

 

Share the news so the idea catches on all over America, and it can’t be soon enough. It takes 500+ years for the bags to decompose, and when they do they end up as microplastics that remain, a permanent problem.

 

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Featured image: Dolphin with plastic bag via Flickr by Jedimentat44 (CC BY 2.0)

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Matthew Silvan
 

Progressive liberal from the American south. Working to educate and inform on issues like preserving the environment, equality for minorities and women, and improving the quality of life for mankind and our ecosystem. Following the facts in the face of a movement to follow only the money.

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