Customers approve Fred Meyer plastic bag phase-out
Fred Meyer's parent company, Kroger, is in the process of phasing out all single-use grocery bags by the year 2025.
"The window to do this starts now," Jeffrey Temple, director of Corporate Affairs with Fred Meyer said. "We have certain municipalities that have already decided to ban plastic bags. If they don't want plastic bags, we've honored that and don't have them."
The Fred Meyer in Wasilla currently did without the plastic bags and Palmer will follow suit on January 1. Kroger's goal is to divert 90 percent of waste from landfills by the year 2020. Kroger's also says they are doing it to increase their social and environmental impact.
"Our goal is to eliminate waste," Temple said. "It's all part of our zero hunger, zero waste strategy. What we really want is for people to use reusable bags. We have those in our stores but depending on when we phase out in the Anchorage market, we still need to have solutions for people who forget those bags. We're still going to look at retaining paper bags as an option."
Doing away with plastic bags, so far, is getting the thumbs up from some many Fred Meyer customers.
"I'm totally for getting rid of them," Shopper Joan Kennedy said. "I've been out and seen them all caught up in the trees out there and floating in lakes where people are picnicking."
"I think we should, definitely should get rid of plastic bags," customer Carla Cuaresma said. "No doubt, they are just a real hazard for the environment."
"I think it's a great idea," Shopper Anne Shedlock said. "There's too much plastic floating around in the rivers and the oceans. Yeah, we need to do something with all this plastic so its a good place to start."
Even customers from the Lower 48 agree.
"I think it would be a good thing to eliminate them," Bruce Canfill, visiting from North Carolina said. "People don't dispose of them properly and you see them all over the roadside and that's not a good thing. So, I commend Fred Meyer for doing that."
The thought of using reusable bags also didn't seem to bother shoppers.
"Reusable bags, yeah, that'd be a good idea," customer Vincent Charles said. "We only use the plastic ones for our garbage cans anyway."
"I try to use my reusable bag as often as possible," customer Meghan Belin said. "Occasionally, I make a quick run and they are still at the house. I try to recycle the plastic ones and use some when I can."
"I would use my own cloth ones," Kennedy said. "I have two in my car."
Kroger says more than 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away every year in the U.S. Less than five percent of plastic bags are recycled.
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