Kroger has rolled out new, eco-friendly milk containers for its private label, Our Brand. The new jugs should save enough plastic to cover the distance between New York and Los Angeles twice.
“A great example of source reduction is our new, lighter-weight, one-gallon milk jug,” Kristal Howard, head of corporate communications and media relations, told SN.
“Recently, our third dairy plant — Michigan Dairy — started producing milk for our customers with this new, lighter container,” Howard added. “We will continue to roll this out across the country this year.”
By 2019, all 15 dairy plants used by Kroger are expected to be using this packaging. At that point, the initiative will be saving 5 million pounds of plastic per year, Kroger said.
The move was preceded by a 2016 change in Our Brands shredded cheese containers, which evolved from a “traditional” pouch to a pouch that has the ability to stand on its own.
Howard said that this upgrade allowed the grocer to reduce plastic use by 180,000 pounds annually.
In June, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen emphasized the brand’s commitment to improving the Our Brands packaging during a shareholder meeting.
Howard described upgrading the private label containers as an “area of focus” for the company.
The eco-friendly initiatives counterbalance a recent failed push Kroger by institutional shareholder, Sum of Us, to establish an independent chairman of Kroger.
Theoretically, the newly appointed leader would have eliminated the company’s use of pollinator-toxic pesticides.
Kroger is based in Cincinnati and currently fields about 2,800 locations under multiple banners across the country.