(Nexter) – Paper? plastic? Or none of the above?
This month, Walmart stores in three states are phasing out single-use plastic and paper bags at checkout as part of a move to encourage customers to bring or buy their own reusable bags. Did.
These Walmart stores in Colorado, Connecticut and New York join Walmart stores in Maine, New Jersey and Vermont. These stores have already done away with single-use bags for shoppers at checkout registers and those who pick up online orders. (Disposable paper bags are still the default for delivery orders in most of these states, and produce and meat sections have plastic bags available “as needed” to prevent cross-contamination.)
“Eliminating single-use bags in Connecticut is part of our commitment to reducing waste,” Walmart Senior Vice President of Sustainability Jane Ewing said in a statement provided to CT-based WTNH. said in “Our customers want to be on this journey and we remain committed to making sustainable choices an everyday choice.”
As explained on Walmart’s ‘Bag Better’ initiative web page, the ultimate goal is to eliminate potentially hazardous waste entirely. For example, Walmart stores in Mexico and Canada have already eliminated single-use bags.
“We have set ourselves the goal of being a zero-waste company, and plastic bags are part of that,” the site says.
But Walmart has so far opted to eliminate single-use bags only in states that have already enacted or will enact some sort of ban, restriction or surcharge on bags. The company’s retail stores have phased out single-use bags during summer 2020 testing, and the state has announced it will ban all businesses from offering single-use bags by July 2021.
Maine will largely ban single-use plastic bags in July 2021, the same month as Vermont, according to Walmart officials.
New Jersey will approve a ban on single-use plastic bags in late 2020 and will be in force by May 2022. in locations statewide for the month.
Colorado, Connecticut, and New York all have or planned some form of statewide baggage limit. Colorado used to require stores to charge him a 10-cent fee for each single-use paper bag, according to his KDVR for Nexter, but Walmart has completely eliminated the use of single-use paper bags at its state locations. It came into effect on January 1st of his discontinuation. Connecticut had already banned single-use plastic shopping bags in July 2021, WTNH reported, and New York did the same the year before.
In some of these cases, Walmart has chosen to go beyond the necessary laws, specifically by banning all single-use bags in states where only plastic bags are no longer allowed. Plans for future programs in states and which states they might become have not been publicly outlined.
The company’s corporate website encourages reusable bags by participating in and donating to the “Beyond the Bag” initiative, which primarily works with retailers such as Target and CVS to find new sustainable solutions. indicated a willingness to continue.
“We will continue to comply with regulations and from the pilots we are working with Beyond the Bag, we are providing ways to make this transition as convenient as possible for our employees and customers, ways to improve recycling pain points, and reusable options. Learn how to Identify additional ways to encourage customers to reuse their bags over and over again.
When asked where Walmart plans to do away with single-use bags in the future, Singh declined to provide specifics.
That said, it seems likely that Walmart will eventually expand its bag-free policy to states that have laws prohibiting or restricting the distribution of bags. California, Delaware, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii counties all already have restrictions (or broader bans) on the distribution of plastic shopping bags, or charge for paper bags, according to the National Congress of Legislators. is obligatory.
However, according to the NCSL, more states now have pre-emptive laws than the number of states above, and the law allows smaller municipalities and jurisdictions to seek to impose a ban on such bags. Any attempt to do so will be blocked or disabled. In some of those states, he was citing the COVID pandemic for legislators to carry disposable bags. An Oklahoma senator also argued that a charge for plastic bags could increase food costs in 2019, according to Ballotpedia.
Opponents, on the other hand, argue that these preemptive laws only protect plastic manufacturers. Opponents of Oklahoma’s preemption law accused the bill’s authors of doing just that and bowing to lobbyists in “deep corporate pockets,” according to Oklahoma News his outlet The Norman Transcript.
Walmart can always choose to eliminate single-use bags in its retail stores, even in states with preemption laws. So far, though, the company appears to be expanding its bag-free initiative to states where lawmakers have already made the first move.
I also don’t know when Walmart will try to eliminate single-use bags from future locations. Despite the company’s own goal of “achieving zero waste”, [its] Walmart has not “yet” set a deadline to discontinue bags nationwide by 2025, a representative told Nexstar.