U.S.: Kroger subsidiary ditches single-use plastic bags

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U.S.: Kroger subsidiary ditches single-use plastic bags

A supermarket chain owned by one of the United States' biggest grocers will no longer offer single-use plastic bags starting April 1.

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has announced that throughout April, its division QFC - with stores in Washington State and Oregon - will donate US$1 for each reusable bag sold in its stores to The Nature Conservancy, a global nonprofit committed to protecting the earth's lands and waters.

Last August, Kroger announced a national plan to eliminate single-use plastic bags in all stores as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative to end hunger in the communities it serves and eliminate waste across the company.

At the time QFC committed to be Kroger's first market to make the complete transition, and soon it will deliver on that promise.

"With Earth Day approaching, we realized this was the perfect opportunity to accelerate the removal of single-use plastic in our stores and take the next bold step in our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey," says QFC president Suzy Monford.

"We listen closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns about use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags," she says.

"This is why we are leading the change and inviting our customers to join us as we help to create zero waste neighborhoods."

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.

All QFC stores will feature reusable bag displays, highlighting the $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy for each reusable bag purchased in April, up to $10,000. QFC will also continue to offer customers the ability to recycle plastic bags.

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