Kroger shoppers outraged by new summer surcharge – would you pay more?
Customers are outraged over the possibility of a NEW charge being imposed on them if a new ordinance is passed.
Athens, Ohio has passed an ordinance to reduce the number of plastic bags used only once.
Councilman Alan Swank proposed it at a meeting of the Athens City Council on Monday.
Since 2016, the city has passed a number of ordinances meant to reduce plastic waste.
If the bill passes, stores cannot give out plastic bags to customers after August 1 for reuse.
In addition, they cannot add a bag fee to a customer’s total unless the bags themselves are separately priced.
Rule states that customers may use their own bags inside the store.
Infractions for selling plastic bags with single uses will incur a maximum fine of $100 per incident.
Swank stated that the date had been pushed back to August 1 to give retailers like Kroger time to make the transition.
Time limit coincides with the start of classes at Ohio University.
“It’s easier to make a transition during your downtime, when you have just two customers, than when you have twenty,” said Swank.
Milena Miller, who works for Athens ReThink Plastics, has said that many companies are ready to switch.
In the past, Kroger has taken measures to reduce single-use plastic bag distribution, such as the closure of a store in Virginia in 2016.
The supermarket chain has announced its intention to completely phase out plastic bags by the year 2025.
All 2,779 of the company’s QFC locations had zero new plastic bag sales in April of this year, following an announcement in 2018 that the company would be phasing out single-use plastic bags.
Every reusable bag sold in stores that month resulted in a $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy from the company.
The Beyond the Bag initiative, in which Kroger participates alongside other retailers such as Walmart and Target, encourages customers to “reimagine” the plastic bags they use and consider alternative ways to carry their groceries.
The store’s green initiatives have been taken up by competitors like Wegmans and Walmart.
According to Wegmans, in stores where it has banned plastic bags, paper bags are used on about 25% of transactions, with the remaining 75% being made using reusable bags or without a bag at all.