These days plastic is Public Enemy #1 and, honestly, we're wondering what took so long. In the past year more and more Americans (and major companies) have become attuned to the harmful environmental repercussions of single-use plastic straws, plastic lids, micro-plastics, and now plastic bags. Plastic bags, we're coming for you.
Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S., is about to make it a lot easier for shoppers to commit to being green. As of this morning, Kroger's chairman and CEO, Rodney McMullen, announced, "As part of our Zero Hunger Zero Waste commitment, we are phasing out use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags and transitioning to reusable bags in our stores by 2025."
But don't let this corporate timeline mean that you wait until 2025 to start bringing along your reusable tote bags on any and all grocery excursions. The way to meet a long-term goal is by setting manageable checkpoints along the way.
It's a huge announcement considering that approximately 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year (and less than five percent of those bags are recycled). You do the math! The goal is a part of a much larger initiative to "divert 90% of waste from landfills by 2020."
This decision points towards a larger positive trend: Some of the biggest companies in the U.S. are starting to understand that it's time to take more social and environmental responsibility. It's earning Kroger some major brownie points in the industry, too. The grocery chain was just named to Fortune's Change the World 2018 list, which highlights big companies working to solve societal problems. When behemoth's like Starbucks, Hilton, American Airlines, and now Kroger start to do their part, it's a lot easier to think about ways to make a difference as individuals too.
If you already bring reusable shopping bags when you pick up your groceries, kudos to you! You're a trendsetter — and it's time that everyone else gets on board too.