Walmart Announces Ambitious Plastic Reduction Targets

Things are changing at America's biggest retailer.

Walmart Announces Ambitious Plastic Reduction Targets
Credit: iStock/yvandube

Leading retail giant Walmart says it will commit to new plastic reduction targets in an effort to reduce its environmental impact.

The new commitments will affect packaging changes to more than 30,000 SKUs, Walmart said at its annual supplier forum. 

Much of the effort will be on Walmart and Sam’s Club private label packaging, but the initiatives are pointed toward national brand partners as well.

“As a global retailer that has set an ambitious aspirational goal to create zero waste, we fully recognize that reducing plastic waste by increasing packaging circularity is an area where Walmart can lead,” Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability, Walmart Inc. said in a statement, noting that the announcement marks “another key milestone” in the company’s ongoing journey of “working with our private brand and national brand suppliers to deliver access to high-quality, sustainable products as part of the Walmart everyday low price promise.”

Under the proposed plan, Walmart will achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging on all private label packaging by 2025. It is also setting a 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025 as well.

The retailer will also label 100 percent of food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle┬« label by 2022; and, it will work with suppliers to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020.  

Efforts are in place to offer low-cost and high-quality consumer alternatives on single-use plastic. Walmart will also make more efforts to recycle shrink wrap, provide in-store recycling bins for plastic, and encourage suppliers to include How2Recycle labeling instructions.

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