Skip to content

Walmart May Get Rid of This in All Stores

It could take a long time, though.

Costco recently came under fire for not working to reduce its climate impact quickly enough, and now Walmart is facing something similar. However, America's largest retail chain is now experimenting with ways to become more environmentally friendly—and one way is to get rid of waste in stores.

In the first few months of 2022, Walmart is testing alternatives to single-use plastics that are being used for the retailer's curbside pickup and home delivery services.

A program is now in place at a store in New York to use tote bags for Walmart's InHome Delivery service. These can be reused and washed, unlike the disposable bags that previously allowed Walmart employees to bring groceries directly into customers' kitchens, CNBC reports. (For more on what's changing at the grocery store, here are 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.)

walmart inhome delivery service
Courtesy of Walmart

A spokesperson for Walmart told CNBC that they are "scouring" for areas where plastics can be eliminated while still being able to keep fruits and vegetables fresh, but that these changes can take time. For example, a plastic window was recently removed from a box that holds plastic utensils sold at 4,7000 stores… but the cutlery itself is still plastic.

In addition, not all of Walmart's products are manufactured by the company. Getting other brands to commit to reducing waste is another step in the process.

Like Costco, organizations are emphasizing that big brands aren't working hard enough. "Companies need to be bolder and they need to move faster," Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, told CNBC when asked about the reusable delivery bags Walmart is testing in New York. "These shouldn't be pilots. They should be standard store policy."

Costco's board of directors argued in January against a shareholder proposal to move up key environmental initiatives, saying that it needed more time to "determine how we can achieve meaningful and operationally-viable absolute C02 reductions in our operations and our global value chain."

So, could the end of plastic shopping bags and other plastic products in stores be near? Probably not. In the meantime, it's up to you, the shopper, to reduce your plastic use while stores like Walmart find ways to help. On an unrelated note, though, it seems the retailer is taking strides to prevent shoplifters from taking a certain kind of meat.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda