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Kroger Central Div. Pledges $75K to 'Keep Indy Beautiful'

CINCINNATI -- The Central Division of The Kroger Co. here yesterday launched an environmental partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) with an initial $25,000 contribution, and with a portion of that 2008 funding earmarked to support beautification projects in the neighborhoods adjacent to Kroger's newest regional stores.

The move is the latest commitment Kroger is making as part of a comprehensive green initiative intended to reduce its impact on the environment. Preliminary components of the program include support of the city’s tree canopy campaign, placing plastic recycling barrels in every Central division store, placing recycle containers in the parking lot of every metro Indianapolis store, and generating substantial revenues in support of KIB’s operations.

Working with KIB and paper recycler AbitibiBowater – the latter of which will manage the program -- Kroger will place large recycle containers in the parking lots of all 46 Kroger stores in the metro Indianapolis market. The food retailer will support the program with marketing and communications programs intended to raise customer and associate awareness and recycling participation. KIB will receive all revenue from the program to support their ongoing operations.

"The recycle containers in our parking lots represent only the beginning of a comprehensive green campaign led by Kroger and community partners,” said John Elliott, Kroger Central Division spokesman. “Protecting the environment matters a great deal to our associates and our customers. This is the beginning of an exciting partnership that will allow us to truly make a positive difference for our environment."

Kroger also recently launched a national plastic recycling program called "Bag 2 Bag," which includes custom-designed barrels allowing customers to contribute plastic grocery bags, dry cleaning plastic and other types of plastic bags for recycling. The barrels also are used for plastic generated by Kroger’s store operations, including shrink-wrap. In the first two months following the launch of the "Bag 2 Bag" program 122,320 pounds (more than 61 tons) of plastic has been gathered for recycling by Kroger’s Central Division stores.

The Kroger Central Division operates 129 pharmacies and 49 fuel centers operating under five banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s, Hilander, and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to five stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio.

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