Woodburn Walmart will join its counterparts around the state of Oregon by removing plastic carryout bags from its store this spring.
Walmart officials said that in a move to help eliminate plastic-bag waste, and the elimination of the bags will go into effect beginning Tuesday, April 18. The retail giant has already eliminated the bags in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Colorado. Walmart Mexico and Canada have also fully eliminated single-use bags as well.
Company officials estimate that in regions where Walmart has already eliminated bags, it has reduced the use of over 1.2 billion plastic and paper bags each year.
“Eliminating single-use bags aligns our stores with the Oregon values of a sustainable community,” said Jane Ewing, senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. “We are committed to making the sustainable choice accessible and convenient for Oregonians, so that together we can reduce waste every day.”
To accommodate the transition, Walmart continues to offer a wide array of reusable bags and containers throughout stores and at checkout areas. Stores have also added signing, social-media posts and messaging on the Walmart App to remind customers of the pending changes.
Walmart encourages recycling end-of-life plastic and reusable bags by establishing recycling containers in its stores’ vestibules.
An Oregon state law that went into effect in January 2020 banned single-use plastic bags. Walmart officials said the company is taking it a step further by eliminating all single-use plastic and paper bags at checkouts across the state, while aiming to offer solutions that serve a similar function, deliver convenience and reduce environmental impact.
To do its part in reducing plastic bag waste, Walmart has been working to ensure a seamless and convenient shift to reusable bags, taking learnings from other initiatives.
Steps toward sustainability
As of January 2023, Walmart has eliminated paper and plastic bags in Canada and Mexico as well as Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Connecticut.
By going bag-less in these six states, Walmart avoids the use of over 1.2 billion plastic and paper bags every year.
Stores began rolling out new, Walmart-branded reusable bags in October 2022 to ensure customers have a selection of high-quality, easy-to-reuse bags for their shopping trips.
To encourage their transition away from single-use bags, Walmart has improved the placement of reusable bags in stores, developed new bag designs, and adjusted checkout lines to accommodate more reusable bags.
Delivery will continue to utilize paper bags, and stores will continue providing single-use bags in areas that prevent food contamination or as required by law.
“We must all take urgent, sustained action to reverse nature loss and emissions before we reach a tipping point from which we will not recover,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “People have pushed past the earth’s natural limits. Healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely on nature.
Our vision at Walmart is to help transform food and product supply chains to be regenerative, working in harmony with nature to protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources,” she added.