Kroger Encourages Customers To Use Fewer Plastic Bags and Invites Them To Design a Reusable Shopping Bag Kroger Continues to Make Progress to Reduce Waste and Conserve Energy

CINCINNATI, April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As Earth Day approaches, The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is inviting customers to Design a Reusable Shopping Bag through its annual online contest.  Beginning April 12 and running through May 21, customers can go online at www.kroger.com/green to submit their designs for Kroger's reusable grocery bags.

The winning designer will receive a $1,000 gift card and a chance to see their bag design sold in Kroger stores. In addition to the winner of the contest, four finalists will be awarded a $250 Kroger gift card and five runners-up will receive a $100 Kroger gift card.  

During the contest, anyone who designs a bag and has a valid shopper card will receive an electronic coupon for a free reusable bag ($0.99 value) loaded directly to their card, where applicable.  Kroger has also partnered with Cafe Press so would-be designers can purchase a reusable bag with their own design on it.

Lynn Marmer, group vice president of corporate affairs for Kroger, said the contest is a natural fit for the retailer and its family of stores – including  City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's – given the company's commitment to sustainability efforts.  In 2009, Kroger and its family of stores sold an average of nearly 13,000 reusable shopping bags per day. Every reusable bag has the potential to save 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.

"By using more reusable shopping bags and engaging in more efficient bagging techniques, Kroger customers and associates diverted nearly 200 million plastic bags from local landfills –about 20 percent toward our goal of saving 1 billion plastic bags," she said. "The Design a Reusable Shopping Bag Contest is a fun, creative way to encourage our customers to use fewer plastic bags."

In addition to plastic bag reduction, Kroger's corporate sustainability efforts are focused on achieving waste reduction, energy conservation and transportation efficiencies:

  • In partnership with its customers, Kroger has increased the amount of plastic it recycles from 9 million pounds of plastic in 2007 to 22 million pounds in 2009. 
  • Kroger's energy teams have helped achieve impressive utility cost reductions through technology such as LED lighting and energy-efficient motors in freezer cases.
  • Kroger's fleet efficiency improved by more than 7 percent in 2009.  In other words, the company's logistics team delivered more cases of products per each gallon of fuel used.

For more information on Kroger's sustainability initiatives and the Design A Reusable Shopping Bag Contest, including a full list of participating stores, customers should visit www.kroger.com/green.

Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The Company also operates 777 convenience stores, 374 fine jewelry stores, 893 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.



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