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Kroger, nation's largest grocery chain, eliminates plastic bags

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CINCINNATI – Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, will phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025. The grocer orders about 6 billion bags each year.

Based in Cincinnati, Kroger operates 2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, serving almost 9 million people daily through two dozen different grocery chains.

Kroger said Thursday that will start the project at its Seattle chain QFC, where it expects to be plastic-bag free by next year.

Companies are now beginning a broader shift to reduce waste, especially plastic. Here are a few of the latest high-profile efforts:

  • Disney, Starbucks, Marriott and McDonald's are getting rid of plastic straws.
  • Dunkin' Donuts is phasing out polystyrene foam cups by 2020.
  • Ikea plans to eliminate single-use plastic products from its shelves by 2020, including straws.
  • Hyatt Hotels visitors starting next month will have to request single-use plastic straw and drink picks, while eco-friendly alternatives will be provided where available.
  • Royal Caribbean said last month that its 50 cruise ships would no longer carry plastic straws starting in 2019.

Cities around the world are joining in the campaign as well. Seattle, where Starbucks in based, last week became the first U.S. metropolis to ban plastic drink straws and utensils, and similar proposals are under consideration in New York and San Francisco. A ban on plastic straws took effect in in February on Florida's Fort Meyers Beach.

Vancouver has said it would ban plastic straws, foam cups and containers by June 2019, and Scotland also plans to get rid of plastic straws as soon next year. Taiwan is banning single-use plastic products, including straws and shopping bags, by 2030. Britain plans to ban plastic straws and cotton swabs as soon as 2019.

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