As Earth Day 2008 draws near, The Kroger Co. today made several announcements that support the company's ongoing commitment to green living and sustainability. Kroger has introduced several new programs and products that provide Kroger customers with a greater number of environmentally conscious choices.
"Kroger's approach to sustainability is to partner with our customers and our associates to provide choices so that they can impact their local and global environment in a meaningful way," said Lynn Marmer, Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs. "We continue to expand our green living and sustainable offerings as our customers and associates look for more ways to do their part when it comes to the environment."
Through Kroger's Plastic Recycling Program, plastic bags, dry-cleaning bags, and other plastic shrink wrap can now be recycled in all of the Company's family of stores - including Kroger, Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fry's, Gerbes, Hilander, Jay C, King Soopers, Owen's, Pay Less, Ralphs, Scott's, Smith's and QFC stores.
Kroger's Plastic Bag Recycling program makes it easy for customers to recycle plastic bags because they can bring bags to their neighborhood Kroger store and deposit them into bins located in the front of most stores. Plastic bags are then collected and recycled into other products such as plastic landscape bricks, plastic lumber and other plastic bags.
Some studies have estimated that Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, and that only two percent of those plastic bags are being recycled. Ms. Marmer said that these recycling programs allow our customers to make significant steps in reducing waste.
The company has also launched its first-ever online contest, Design Kroger's Next Reusable Bag, which allows customers to submit designs for Kroger's reusable grocery bags. "While Kroger has offered the colorful, low- cost bags for more than a decade, we wanted to give customers an opportunity to express their creativity, share their designs with family and friends, and show their commitment to sustainable living," Ms. Marmer said. "Kroger's reusable bags have become a household staple with multiple uses and this is an exciting way for customers to become actively involved. Reusable bags just make sense - just one reusable bag has the potential to eliminate 1,000 plastic bags over the course of its lifetime."
Customers can create their designs and vote on their favorite entries online at http://www.kroger.com/green through May 23. The winner of the contest will receive a $500 Kroger gift card. Four finalists will be awarded a $250 Kroger gift card and five runners-up will receive a $100 Kroger gift card. The Top 10 finalists will be determined by customer votes. All participants who enter a design and provide a valid Kroger Plus card will receive a digital coupon for a free reusable bag.
Kroger is making progress through several other sustainability initiatives, including:
- The plastic bottles for Kroger brand water manufactured in Kroger plants are now made of a thinner plastic, thereby reducing the amount of waste that is created by each bottle. The volume of water in the bottle remains the same, but less plastic makes them more environmentally friendly. With this change, the Company estimates more than 1.3 million pounds of PET plastic resin will be removed from the waste stream annually.
- The Company also said that in 2007, Kroger's family of stores - together with its customers - collectively recycled 9.1 million pounds of plastic. Last year, Kroger stores and facilities recycled more than 1 billion pounds of cardboard.