Kroger plastic bags

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Kroger Phasing Out Plastic Bags At All Stores

August 23, 2018 - 8:30 am

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Say goodbye to plastic bags when you go Krogering.

The nation's largest grocery chain on Thursday announced it will phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025.

Kroger says it goes through roughly 6 billion bags each year.

The company, based in Cincinnati, operates 2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, serving almost 9 million people daily through two dozen different grocery chains.

Kroger said Thursday that will start at its Seattle chain QFC, where it expects to be plastic-bag free by next year.

In a statement emailed to WWJ Newsradio 950, a spokeperson for Kroger in Michigan said no changes will be made in Michigan stores for the time being. 

The company will be seeking customer feedback and will be working with outside groups throughout the transition.

"We know it can’t happen overnight – for the time being, most of our stores will continue current bagging policies," the statement reads. "We want to give our customers time to transition to a new way of doing things, and we want to take the time necessary to solicit customer feedback and work with our partners to determine the most sustainable, long-term replacement for single-use plastic bags."

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.

There is a broader shift by companies to reduce waste, especially plastic. Disney, Starbucks, Marriott and McDonald's are getting rid of plastic straws. Dunkin' Donuts is phasing out polystyrene foam cups by 2020. Ikea plans to eliminate single-use plastic products from its shelves by 2020, including straws.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.