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Kroger says it will phase out single-use plastic bags nationwide by 2025.

The move is part of The Kroger Company’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, the company announced Thursday in a news release. The initiative, according to Kroger’s website, is to “end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste in our company by 2025.”

Instead of plastic bags, the grocery chain plans to transition to reusable bags to decrease plastic waste.

Kroger Louisville Division spokeswoman Erin Grant said the change will take time, but it’s good for the earth.

“It is a big change, but one we know will help better protect our planet for generations to come and simply the right thing to do,” Grant via email. “We also know it can’t happen overnight – for the time being, most of our stores will continue current bagging policies. We want to give our customers time to transition to a new way of doing things.”

Kroger estimates less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled annually in the U.S., and 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away every year.

Kroger bagKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

A plastic Kroger bag.

At the Kroger on West Broadway, shopper Mark Travis said he supports the change and thinks others will, too.

“If it’s going to benefit, you know, benefit the earth, I believe in that,” he said.

Brittany Franks said she also supports the move away from single-use plastic bags but she thinks other people will be slow to accept the change.

“I mean, people threw a fit when they moved to the yellow bags. How are they going to feel when they cut bags out altogether?” Franks said. “Nobody likes having to be inconvenienced. Even though if they know it helps, nobody likes to do extra work or find another way of doing something.”

The phase-out process is underway in the Seattle area. The Cincinnati-based grocer has nearly 2,800 stores around the country.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.