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Facts and fiction about Kroger's upcoming plastic bag ban

Are they really paying people to stop using plastic?
Posted at 10:29 AM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 20:07:31-04

The City of Cincinnati's forthcoming ban on single-use plastic bags has raised a lot of questions, many of them concerning Kroger, the biggest user of plastic bags in the region.

What's true: Kroger will soon stop using plastic bags at checkout and will start the changeover at its city stores in January.

What's fiction: Social medial posts claiming that Kroger will give you a gift card to make the switch.

The new ordinance passed by Cincinnati City Council this month bans single-use plastic bags starting Jan. 1. However, the law will not be enforced for six months, giving stores plenty of time to make the changeover.

Kroger shoppers with whom we spoke were not familiar with the details but said they have seen it work elsewhere, in the 300-odd other American cities that now ban the bags.

"I have a niece who lives in Washington, D.C., and it's banned there," shopper Terry Joiner said. "They have to bring their own grocery bags, which I think is a good idea."

Cincinnati only, or suburbs too?

What makes this all the more confusing is that it's just a Cincinnati law right now.

That means that in January, the Hyde Park Kroger (along with about a dozen others in the city) will have to stop giving out single-use plastic bags.

But the Kroger in the city of Norwood, fewer than 2 miles away, doesn't have to get rid of single-use plastic bags anytime soon.

So what happens in 2021?

Kroger spokesperson Erin Rolfes tells me the store supports Cincinnati's ban and will honor it starting in January.

She says Kroger, in the meantime, will phase out plastic bags at all of its stores over the next four years.

It will instead offer shoppers paper or reusable bags for a small fee.

Sorry, no vouchers for making the switch

But Rolfes cautions that a viral Facebook post going around is a hoax.

Kroger is not giving out $35 vouchers for making the switch or for sharing a post about the plastic bag ban. That's a scam to collect Facebook names.

Fake Kroger post.JPG
Fake Kroger post

So look for a change in Cincinnati checkout lanes starting in January, but don't believe any posts saying Kroger will pay you to stop using plastic.

And, as always, don't waste your money


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