Walmart commits to reducing plastic waste

The new Walmart Canada Charter on Plastics spells out the retailer's specific goals on reducing plastic waste

Walmart Canada is committing to reduce plastic waste across its entire operations with the launch of its new Walmart Canada Charter on Plastics.

“Reducing unnecessary plastic waste and increasing plastic recycling are key priorities for Walmart--and for our customers,” said Lee Tappenden, president and CEO, Walmart Canada, in a release.

Tappenden explained that Walmart will address plastic waste in Canada using a three-pronged strategy: using less plastic, recycling more plastic, and supporting improvements to the plastic waste reduction system.

Some of the key commitments in the new "charter" include:

  • Reducing check-out plastic bags by a further 50% by 2025 (taking approximately 1 billion bags out of circulation in that period)

  • Eliminating single-use plastic straws and replacing them with paper alternatives by 2020

  • Achieving 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its own private brand products by 2025

  • Eliminating “hard-to-recycle” PVC and expanded polystyrene packaging from all its own private brand products by 2025

  • Targeting at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025

  • Providing customers with more environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic household products, including utensils, plates and cups

  • Becoming the first Canadian retailer to publicly commit to using How2Recycle labelling on all its own private brand products by 2025

  • Eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging in its own private brand products starting in 2019

  • Eliminating all single-use plastics from cafeterias at Walmart Canada’s corporate offices and distribution centres by the end of 2019

“I’m proud to be making these changes and supporting innovations in the plastics and recycling sectors to help reduce Canada’s plastic waste footprint,” added Tappenden.