Supermarket giant Kroger, Co. was recently touted in a Waste & Recycling News article as having increased its plastic bag recycling by 180% since 2007. Note however, that this 26 million pounds or roughly 13,000 tons of recycled plastic bags is less than 2% of the 660,000 tons of plastic bags generated nationwide in 2009.
Kroger is already saving roughly $3 million dollars in costs through its reduced single-use bag distribution and would be even more efficient by focusing on increased reusable bag usage. In as few as 8 uses, a reusable bag made from 40% recycled plastic would have less environmental impact compared to a single-use plastic or paper bag.
In addition to being regularly cleaned to prevent bacterial growth, reusable bags can also be tested and certified to meet safety requirements for heavy metals. AB 298, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, would ensure that all reusable bags meet these important health and safety standards.