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Enviro Eco Nature    H3'ed 12/11/21

Kroger Ignores Environmental Law; Scams Customers

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I bought several bottles of soda from Kroger last summer and was charged a deposit on the bottles. Kroger refused to take them back for deposit numerous times. Kroger always says its bottle return is closed. According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, retailers must accept containers that are clean, clearly labeled as deposit containers, and sold by the retailer."

I filed two Better Business Bureau complaints against Kroger, but Kroger's headquarters still refused to abide by the Michigan Bottle Deposit Law. Kroger's response to Cincinnati BBB complaint 15986628 was, in part, "Thank you for contacting the Kroger Executive Office. We appreciate your feedback. I am in receipt of your concern that you sent through the BBB. We are committed to providing you with the most enjoyable shopping experience possible and your comments provide us the opportunity to evaluate, address, and correct our processes if necessary. At this time, this is what's in place and we do ask all of our customers that wish to shop in our stores abide by these rules and regulations." Kroger is the one, however, not abiding by regulations. Kroger went on to say I should go to a store and ask for a store manager, something I included in my BBB complaint as having already done.

I contacted the Michigan Attorney General's office about the issue three times since the summer but have received no response.

Michigan's bottle bill has been an environmental success. It has diverted much plastic, metal, and glass from landfills. In most years since 1990, the bottle bill has kept over 90% of bottles out of landfills. Since it is illegal to throw bottles with deposits away to be landfilled due to Public Act 34 of 2004, it is even more important for retailers to abide by the Michigan Bottle Deposit Law.

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William holds a BBA from Western Michigan University and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.

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