Years after American moms and dads have accumulated closets full of reusable grocery bags featuring the faces of cuddly animals, global grocer Kroger has promised to quit single-use plastic bags.
Kroger’s Pacific Northwest chain, Quality Food Centers, will be the first to stop using these flimsy plastic bags, with plans to phase them out entirely by next year. But by 2025, the company will have removed single-use plastic bags from all its 2,800 stores.
The company says it uses 6 billion single-use plastic bags annually.
“Plastic pollution is not only killing whales, sea turtles, and albatrosses, it is impacting human health. Plastic is in our drinking water, our seafood, and even in the air we breathe. We cannot afford to wait any longer for significant action on plastics,” says David Pinsky, who produces Greenpeace’s annual Carting Away the Oceans report.
California and several cities including Chicago, Austin, and San Francisco have banned the use of such plastic bags. Still other cities are putting required fees on plastic bags to reduce use. Kroger’s move signals that environmentalists—and your parents—are winning.