Walmart is making new strides in its efforts to reduce waste.
As of Jan. 18, 2023, the big-box retailer will no longer provide shoppers with single-use paper bags at checkout or pickup in New York state stores. Throughout January, Walmart will expand this initiative across its Connecticut and Colorado stores as well.
The announcement builds upon a years-long effort from Walmart to reduce single-use bags in stores across the country. Walmart stores in Vermont officially discarded single-use bags in Feb. 2021 and Maine did so in July 2021. Walmart has also ended the use of these single-use paper and plastic bags in Canada, Mexico and New Jersey.
“Eliminating single-use bags in New York is part of our effort to reduce waste,” said Jane Ewing, SVP of Walmart sustainability in a statement. “Our customers want to be engaged on this journey and we remain committed to making the sustainable choice the everyday choice.”
Walmart delivery orders will still use paper bags but will give customers the option to purchase reusable bags instead. New York State banned the use of single-use plastic bags from certain retailers in March 2020. Walmart said it will offer various reusable bags for purchase throughout its store and and the registers.
As part of its efforts to eliminate waste, Walmart set a goal to achieve zero waste in its owned operations in the U.S. and Canada by 2025. Part of this goal involved achieving 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging for its private brands by 2025 and labeling this packaging with instructions for recycling.
In 2020, Walmart joined the “Beyond the Bag” initiative as a founding partner to find innovative solutions for more sustainable retail shopping bags. The three-year program is funded in part by Walmart, Target and CVS Health.