Over the next seven years, the nation's largest grocery chain plans to rid its nearly 2,800 stores of plastic bags.
The Cincinnati-based company -- which also operates Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, and Ralphs, among others -- will begin phasing out plastic bags Thursday at its QFC stores in and around Seattle, with the expectation that the chain will be plastic-bag free by next year.
In its place, Kroger will offer reusable bags for $1-2. "Free brown paper bags also remain a choice," Kroger's head of corporate communications and media relations, Kristal Howard, tells WVXU. "But the goal is to fully transition to reusable bags. We recognize purchasing multiple reusable bags might be a challenge for some of our customers, and some simply cannot carry reusable bags to the store each visit. We want to make this easy, and we're committed to easing these burdens as much as possible."
In a release, the company said it "will solicit customer feedback and work with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and community partners to ensure a responsible transition."
"We listen very closely to our customers and our communities and we agree with their growing concerns," Kroger's executive vice president and COO Mike Donnelly said in a release.
Kroger, which orders about 6 billion bags annually, isn't the first such company to make such a move. Whole Foods, Ikea, and Disney have all stopped offering customers plastic bags in recent years.