On March 22, 2019 grocery retailer QFC, a Kroger division announced that it would stop offering single-use plastic bags at its stores beginning April 1, 2019. Throughout April, QFC will donate $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.
“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,” said Suzy Monford, president of QFC. “We listen closely to our customers and our communities and 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,” Monford said.
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. In the announcement, the Washington state grocer QFC committed to be Kroger’s first market to make the complete transition.
Estimates suggest 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the US every year. Currently, less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled annually, 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.