Grocery retailer Kroger announced today the launch of its Kroger Our Brands Recycling Program, an expansion of an earlier program developed in partnership with TerraCycle. The program aims to make it easier for consumers to recycle flexible plastic packaging.
Flexible plastic packaging includes things like snack pouches, potato chip bags, packets of cheese, and frozen food pouches, among other items. While this particular type of packaging keeps food fresh, it’s also very difficult to recycle and not eligible for curbside pickup in most parts of the U.S.
TerraCycle, meanwhile, specializes in hard-to-recycle items such as flexible plastics. The company has several different recycling programs in operation, and also runs Loop, which offers common CPGs in reusable containers.
The Kroger/TerraCycle program means customers can sign up for free to ship them to TerraCycle using a prepaid shipping label. Users earn points for every pound of packaging sent. Points can be redeemed as donations to participating charitable organizations.
Having to take the extra steps to separate flexible plastics and actually put them in the mail might deter some customers. However, Kroger said in today’s press release that it saw “great success” with an earlier version of the program, which recycled flexible packaging from the company’s Simple Truth brand. The new program is available to schools, offices, and other organizations, in addition to individual consumers and households.
All packaging collected through the program will be melted into hard plastic and used to make new products.
For now, only the following Kroger brands are eligible to be recycled via the program: Private Selection, Kroger Brand, Comforts, Luvsome, and Abound.