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Boulder County King Soopers to Phase Out Plastic Bags

August 24, 2018
Boulder County King Soopers to Phase Out Plastic Bags

Marty Goss puts his bags of groceries into a shopping cart after checking out at the King Soopers in Longmont in June.

By 2025, and perhaps even sooner, King Soopers locations in Boulder County will no longer give shoppers disposable plastic bags for their groceries.

King Soopers’ parent company Kroger Co. plans to gradually phase out the bags, which many consider to be harmful to the environment, as part of its Zero Hunger/Zero Waste campaign.

“Our timeline is generous for several reasons,” King Soopers spokesman Adam Williamson said in an email. “First, we want to give our customers time to transition to a new way of shopping. Second, we want to take the time necessary to work with key partners to determine the most sustainable, long-term replacement for single-use plastic bags.”

For years, Boulder shoppers have been weaning themselves off single-use bags.

In 2013, the city imposed 10-cent fee on all disposable paper and plastic bags at Boulder grocery stores. Bag use has decreased significantly in the years since.

When asked if plastic bags might be phased out sooner than 2025 in places such as Boulder that have shown a willingness to use alternative bags, Williamson wrote in an email, “It’s too early to tell at this time. As we continue to partner and learn what solutions we will move forward with, we will share those next steps.”

Shoppers at the King Soopers on 30th Street in Boulder were generally supportive of Kroger’s decision.

“I haven’t really used (plastic) bags in a while,” said Monica Lawson, who was shopping Friday afternoon. “I do my best to always bring reusable bags — I’m not saving the world or anything, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Bruce Nguyen said he understands and supports King Soopers’ decision to phase out the bags.

But, he added: “I’ll kind of miss them.”

“I use them for stuff all over the house,” he said. For Nguyen, the bags serve as mini-trash can liners and are used to pick up after his dog. “But I’m sure I’ll figure something else out.”

In an editorial published Thursday by the Cincinnati Enquirer , Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen wrote, ” ... When our company’s phase out of single-use grocery bags is fully implemented, the waste generated by these bags at our family of stores will drop by 123 million pounds per year. To give a sense of just how big a number that is, that’s equal to the weight of the entire population of Detroit.”

Lucas High: 303-684-5310, lhigh@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/lucashigh

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