Plastic bags are on the way out at Baker’s stores in Nebraska.
The stores are owned by Kroger, which announced Thursday that all of its nearly 2,800 stores nationally will be plastic bag-free by 2025.
Here’s what you need to know:
Q: What will customers use instead of plastic bags?
A: Customers will bring in their own reusable totes or purchase them at the store.
Q: Why not just end the availability of plastic bags now, rather than phase them out by 2025?
A: The company wants to give customers time to adjust. The company also wants time to learn from one of its divisions based in Seattle that will begin phasing out plastic bags immediately.
Q: Is it possible that plastic bags will be gone at Baker’s stores in Nebraska before 2025?
A: It’s possible, but no schedule is set.
Q: Will paper bags still be available in 2025?
A: Kroger is studying that issue. No decision has been made.
Q: What prompted the decision to phase out plastic bags?
A: Part of the reason is environmental concern among customers about plastic bags. The change is also part of Kroger’s goal of reducing waste going to landfills.
Q: How many Baker’s stores are there in Nebraska?
A: Eleven stores total, with locations in Omaha, Bellevue and Fremont.
Q: How many plastic bags are used annually by stores in the Kroger chain nationally?
A: An estimated 6 billion.
Q: What are other stores’ plans regarding plastic bags?
A: Kathy Siefken, executive director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, said the industry “as a whole doesn’t plan to stop providing plastic bags to our customers.” Proper recycling of plastic bags is the key, she said.
In an email, a Hy-Vee spokeswoman said: “At this time, we haven’t announced any plans to ban plastic bags. We continue to monitor usage, emphasize recycling and encourage the use of reusable bags.”
Sources: the Associated Press; Sheila Lowrie, spokeswoman for Baker’s