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The Kroger Co. this week has made several announcements in support of the company's ongoing commitment to green living and sustainability, and introducing several new programs and products that provide customers with a greater number of environmentally conscious choices.

Among them:

• “Through Kroger's Plastic Recycling Program, plastic bags, dry-cleaning bags, and other plastic shrink wrap can now be recycled in all of the Company's family of stores - including Kroger, Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fry's, Gerbes, Hilander, Jay C, King Soopers, Owen's, Pay Less, Ralphs, Scott's, Smith's and QFC stores.

“Kroger's Plastic Bag Recycling program makes it easy for customers to recycle plastic bags because they can bring bags to their neighborhood Kroger store and deposit them into bins located in the front of most stores. Plastic bags are then collected and recycled into other products such as plastic landscape bricks, plastic lumber and other plastic bags.”

• The company has also launched its first-ever online contest, Design Kroger's Next Reusable Bag, which allows customers to submit designs for Kroger's reusable grocery bags.

Lynn Marmer, Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs, says, “While Kroger has offered the colorful, low- cost bags for more than a decade, we wanted to give customers an opportunity to express their creativity, share their designs with family and friends, and show their commitment to sustainable living,” and she noted that “reusable bags just make sense - just one reusable bag has the potential to eliminate 1,000 plastic bags over the course of its lifetime.”

• “The plastic bottles for Kroger brand water manufactured in Kroger plants are now made of a thinner plastic, thereby reducing the amount of waste that is created by each bottle. The volume of water in the bottle remains the same, but less plastic makes them more environmentally friendly.”

• Kroger also said that in 2007, its family of stores “collectively recycled 9.1 million pounds of plastic. Last year, Kroger stores and facilities recycled more than 1 billion pounds of cardboard.”
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