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Walmart makes new push in plastic waste reduction

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart used its annual supplier forum here to set new goals for plastic waste reduction, and asked its suppliers to help it hit the targets.

The company on Tuesday said the changes are expected to impact more than 30,000 items sold in its stores and online.

Walmart noted that the new commitments build upon existing efforts to reduce plastic waste in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club operations. Walmart now aims for 100% of its private brand packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. It also said it would work with its private brand suppliers on the following commitments:

  • Target at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025.
  • Label all private brand food and consumable packaging with the How2Recycle label by 2022.
  • Continue to remove the nonrecyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging.
  • Reduce use of plastic in packaging on private brand merchandise.

“Today’s announcement marks another key milestone in our 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,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president for global sustainability at Walmart.

Walmart also said it is working with suppliers to improve the sustainability of its private brand product packaging, with an emphasis on making it easier for customers to recycle.

And it encouraged national brand suppliers to set similar packaging goals through the retailer’s Project Gigaton platform. Walmart introduced a new recycling playbook designed to provide information to companies pursuing recyclable packaging and recycled content goals.

“Plastic waste is a growing concern for Walmart customers, associates and other key stakeholders,” Walmart said in a statement. “Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste by taking actions across its business and working with suppliers to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems.”

Walmart should be commended for working with suppliers in seeking solutions to shared problems related to plastic waste, said Shailesh Jejurikar, president of the fabric care division at Procter & Gamble Co. “In setting our own plastic waste reduction goals, P&G understands that driving meaningful change in this space will require collaboration,” Jejurikar said.


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