More than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

By Jessica Fecteau
August 23, 2018 03:55 PM
Credit: Rogelio V. Solis/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“Paper or plastic?” will soon no longer be a question at your local Kroger.

On Tuesday, the supermarket chain revealed they are phasing out single-use plastic bags at their more than 2,700 locations as part of their Zero Hunger | Zero Waste campaign. The goal is to no longer offer a plastic bag option during checkout by 2025.

Seattle-based QFC will be the company’s first retail division to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2019. Other major chains that fall under the Kroger umbrella include Ralphs, Pick n’ Save, Food 4 Less and Harris Teeter.

More than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Out of the 380 billion, an estimated 100 billion are thrown away every year and less than five percent are recycled, according to the press release.

As part of their ongoing initiative, Kroger also shared their goal of diverting 90 percent of waste from the landfill by 2020.

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“It’s a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations,” says Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

Kroger isn’t the first company to announce their environmental efforts.

Last month, Starbucks announced it wofuld be phasing out plastic straws in over 28,000 of their stores worldwide by 2020.

In June, McDonald’s announced their plans to phase out plastic straws in their European stores with a possible future rollout of the policy in the U.S., BBC reports.

Many of these companies, including Starbucks, cite ocean conservancy in their decision to remove plastic straws from their stores. According to a 2016 New Plastic Economy report, it is estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than straws by the year 2050.