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    Kroger Urging Customers to Pare Plastic Bag Use

    In tandem with Earth Day, The Kroger Co. is urging shoppers to step up their use of reusable shopping bags while inviting them to enter an online shopping bag design contest that gets underway April 12 and runs through May 21.

    In tandem with Earth Day, The Kroger Co. is urging shoppers to step up their use of reusable shopping bags while inviting them to enter an online shopping bag design contest that gets underway April 12 and runs through May 21.

    Lynn Marmer, group VP of corporate affairs for Cincinnati-based Kroger, said the contest is a natural fit for the retailer and its family of stores, which includes City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s, in light of the chain’s commitment to sustainability efforts.

    In 2009, Kroger and its family of stores sold an average of nearly 13,000 reusable shopping bags per day. Every reusable bag has the potential to save 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.

    “By using more reusable shopping bags and engaging in more efficient bagging techniques, Kroger customers and associates diverted nearly 200 million plastic bags from local landfills — about 20 percent toward our goal of saving 1 billion plastic bags,” said Marmer, noting that the “contest is a fun, creative way to encourage our customers to use fewer plastic bags.”

    The winning designer will receive a $1,000 gift card and a chance to see his or her bag design sold in Kroger stores. In addition, four finalists will get a $250 Kroger gift card and five runners-up will receive a $100 Kroger gift card. During the contest, anyone who designs a bag and has a valid shopper card will receive an electronic coupon for a free reusable bag ($0.99 value) loaded directly to his or her card, where applicable. Kroger has also teamed with Cafe Press so would-be designers can purchase reusable bags with their own designs on them.

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