As the Dutch grocery store chain Ekoplaza has proven, opening a plastic-free aisle is not only possible but very much needed and welcomed. An aisle that is completely free from plastic is an important step towards decreasing the levels of plastic packaging we take for granted, and the fact that people are willing to buy items sold in biodegradable or compostable packages speaks to a wider awareness of the problem. In fact, a UK poll revealed that nine out of 10 people support opening plastic-free aisles and want supermarkets to introduce them.
Kroger is the world’s largest grocery store chain and, with more than 2,300 branches throughout the U.S., it brings in over $120 billion a year. It is safe to say that opening plastic-free aisles in the company’s stores would be a great breakthrough, and it would show Americans that shopping sans plastic is actually possible, and not necessarily more expensive. Because of the amazing impact that this simple switch by Kroger could make, a petition has been launched on Care2 encouraging them to take on the challenge.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, global food retail sales add up to $44 trillion annually. “A lot of those products come in plastic which keeps our food from spoiling – but spoils the planet at the same time,” notes the petition. Recent findings show that supermarkets are responsible for 40 percent of the total plastic packaging that we use.
The difference Kroger would make by opening a plastic-free aisle in all of its stores would be enormous – but even by introducing the concept to a percent of its locations would bring great and important results. It would reduce plastic waste and send a message to other businesses, encouraging them to follow the lead and do the same for their customers. Considering around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year, any effort we can make to reduce that mass could be world changing.
Click here to join in asking Kroger to take a stand against needless plastic waste and commit to opening plastic-free aisles in their stores!
To learn more about what you can do to help the planet by making conscious choices about using disposable plastic in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Image source: Janet McKnight/Flickr