The War on Plastic: Grocery chain takes a stab at plastic bags

The nation's war on plastic has already targeted straws and balloons, and now it's taking another stab at plastic bags.

Kroger, the largest grocery store chain in the country, announced on Thursday that it plans to completely phase out plastic grocery bags from its stores and affiliated supermarkets by 2025. 

With about 9 million Kroger shoppers a day, Kroger said its decision alone will eliminate more than 123 million pounds of waste a year. 

Plastic straws already took a hit this summer. You won't get one at Starbucks and, thanks to a group of kids in Ashtabula, you won't get one anywhere in the city, either, without request.

Balloons were the latest hot topic after they were banned in a small Rhode Island town. Major balloon releases were also banned in California and other communities.

But plastic bags have been dominating the conversation around the world for a while. As of last year, 28 countries had bans or taxes on plastic bags. Some announced plans to phase out all single-use plastics. In the United States, 16 states have bans and taxes on the bags. Ohio is not among them. 

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"Balloons, straws, plastic bags, they're plastic that are man-made that end up in our environment. And the key is they're preventable," Sarah Orlando, program manager for Ohio Clean Marinas, said.

There are about 22 million pounds of plastic flowing into the Great Lakes every year, according to a recent study. Lake Erie has one of the highest concentrations.

So, experts say any little bit helps.  

"Yes, we have them in our daily lives, but we can prevent these things from accumulating in the environment. We can prevent even using these things. There are sustainable, alternative options for them," Orlando said.

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