- Kroger’s recycling program has reached a milestone of recycling 1 million pieces of its Our Brands flexible plastic product packaging, according to a Friday announcement.
- The grocer also announced its Simple Truth private label brand has added two new upcycled-ingredient breads to its product lineup in an effort to offer more sustainable items.
- The announcement comes as Kroger is making headway on sustainable efforts and eco-friendly initiatives continue to move to the forefront of grocers’ agendas.
Kroger’s recycling program, which enables customers to use free, prepaid shipping labels to mail in flexible packaging from the grocer’s private label products, has hit its milestone just three years after it began in 2020. Shoppers can sign up to participate and check if their products are eligible to be mailed in on Kroger’s website.
The materials donated are then used to build playgrounds the grocer donates to youth and community groups, according to the announcement.
The announcement credits the grocer with being the first retailer to offer “free and easy flexible plastic packaging recycling programs” for its store brand products. The program is made possible through the grocer’s partnership with TerraCycle.
Kroger is also continuing to make progress on its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative by adding two upcycled certified goods to its Simple Truth line. The seeded multigrain bread and multigrain quinoa bread are blended with upcycled barley, wheat and rye grains and join Simple Truth’s lineup of more than 1,500 products.
The Upcycled Food Association certified the two new products. The trade association, which has a network of over 225 businesses worldwide, works to prevent food waste by advancing the upcycled food economy, per the press release.
In the grocer’s recent Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, which was released in September 2022, it stated that 40% of its private label packaging was recyclable, compostable or reusable as of 2021. Building off of this, Kroger has a goal to achieve that for all of its own brand packaging by 2030, per the ESG report.
As sustainability efforts continue to gain steam in the grocery industry, packaging is one area where progress is being made. Southeastern Grocers recently debuted a sustainable ice packing and manufacturing solution just months after announcing goals to make its own brand packaging more sustainable.
In addition, in March 2022 New Seasons Market adopted a more environmentally friendly packaging solution for its private label line of fresh pasta.