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Smith’s, Fred Meyer to phase out plastic bags


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IDAHO FALLS — Smith’s Food & Drug Stores and Fred Meyer have announced they will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags by 2025.

“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,” Kenny Kimball, President of Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, said in a news release. “It’s a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations.”

The decision impacts all stores across the United States owned by The Kroger Company, the nation’s largest grocery chain.

Some estimates suggest that 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year. Currently, less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled annually in America, and single-use plastic bags are the fifth-most common single-use plastic found in the environment by magnitude.

“We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s Corporate Affairs Manager. “This decision aligns with our Restock Kroger commitment to live our purpose through social impact.”

Kroger orders about 6 billion bags each year for its stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The chain has also been redesigning milk jugs to use 10% less plastic. It switched to the new container in about half of its dairy plants by the end of 2017, and will shift fully to the new containers soon.