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Kroger plans to eliminate plastic bags by 2025

Come 2025, shoppers at Kroger in Louisville and across the country will carry their groceries in reusable bags.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Say goodbye to the days of ‘paper or plastic.’ Come 2025, shoppers at Kroger in Louisville and across the country will carry their groceries in reusable bags.

“It's something that needs to happen and if they're going to do it, then Kroger needs to lead the way,” said shopper Tricia Payne.

The transition is still seven years away and Kroger spokesperson Erin Grant said there's a lot of details they're still working through. For example, it's unclear how much you'll have to pay, if anything, for the reusable bags and we don't know yet if they'll offer paper bags, too.

“We've given ourselves a large window of time to figure out how to do that and to really let our customers adjust to this change because I know it won't be easy for everyone,” Grant said.

Many seem concerned about forgetting their reusable bags and fear having to purchase more.

“My issue is, I never have the tote bags in my car,” said shopper Patti Stewart.

“It's going to be a little different to have a reusable bag handy the same way that the disposable ones are. Like my wife said, we'll find out, ‘oh we don't have a bag available,’” said Patti’s husband, Jim Stewart.

Despite some hesitation, one sustainability expert is encouraging people to start now.

“We don't have to wait. I'm glad that Kroger has made this commitment and of course it's going to take some time to phase in, but none of us have to wait. We can take action right now,” explained Justin Mog.

Mog is the Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Louisville. He said the damage that waste, like plastic bags, brings to our planet is more harmful than many realize.

“We don't see where it's all ending up, which in our city, of course, is Beargrass Creek, the Ohio River,” said Mog. “All of this plastic pollution is contributing to destruction of life elsewhere.”

Many having trouble letting go because they use their bags for other purposes.

“We use it to scoop our cat's litter in,” said Payne.

“We keep all the extra ones under the sink in the kitchen for whatever use that comes along,” Stewart explained.

“We have to live in reality,” Mog said, “and the reality is that we all share this one planet and we need to protect it. There is no other place we can go.”

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