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Walmart Canada to extend plastic bag fees

A five-cent plastic bag fee to discourage single use bags and eliminate plastic film from municipal land-fill to be implemented at Walmart stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec during the month of May.


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May 2, 2016 by Canadian Plastics

Walmart Canada is expanding its plastic bag fees program, designed to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, to more Canadian provinces.

The initiative, which includes the introduction of a five-cent plastic bag fee on all single-use plastic bags, began in British Columbia on February 9 and will expand to Walmart stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec during the month of May 2016.

Dates for Atlantic Canada will be announced in the coming months, Walmart Canada said.

According to Walmart Canada, 19 million fewer single-use bags were handed out in the three months following the British Columbia program, compared to the same period a year earlier. “This was a reduction of 76 per cent or 152,000 kg of plastic, which is the weight of approximately 120 small cars,” the company said.

Walmart Canada said its customers will be provided with the option to purchase reusable, discounted bags for 25 cents or plastic bags for five cents. “Walmart has improved its five-cent single-use bag to be 25 per cent bigger and 25 per cent thicker, reducing the need to double bag heavier items and lowering the total number of bags used,” the company said.

“Charging a nominal fee for plastic bags has proven to be a highly effective way to reduce the use of plastic bags,” the company continued. “Walmart stores in Japan and the UK have reduced distribution of single-use bags by approximately 50 per cent. In Canada, similar programs are reporting comparable reduction rates.”

To further reduce plastic waste, Walmart Canada said, it is creating “more efficient in-store recycling and collection programs, working with suppliers to reduce plastic packaging and allocating part of the proceeds from the five-cent fee to plastic film recycling initiatives.”