American retailing company Kroger announced that its supermarket chain Quality Food Centers (QFC) has committed to stop offering single-use plastic bags starting 1 April 2019.
Furthermore, the retailing firm said that QFC would donate $1 for each reusable bag sold during the month of April to The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit committed to protecting the earth’s lands and waters.
QFC president Suzy Monford said: “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.
“We listen closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns about use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags. This is why we are leading the change and inviting our customers to join us as we help to create zero waste neighborhoods.”
In August 2018, Kroger has announced a national plan to eliminate single-use plastic bags across all its stores as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, aimed to end hunger in the communities it serves and reduce waste.
As part of the plan, QFC was committed to be the retailer’s first market to make the complete transition.
It is estimated that 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away every year in the US, of which only less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled annually and single-use plastic bags forms the fifth-most common single-use plastic found in the environment by magnitude.
All QFC stores are expected to feature reusable bag displays and highlight the $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy for each reusable bag purchased in April, up to $10,000 and QFC is also expected to continue to offer customers the ability to recycle plastic bags.
In December 2017, the retailing company has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a membership-based collaborative of companies to advance sustainable packaging, in a bid to advance its Zero waste initiative.
SPC is comprised of more than 130 brands, manufacturers, government officials, academics and organizations.