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Walmart Canada announces new plastic waste reduction plan

The retail giant has released a new Charter on Plastics, which it says builds on its 2016 commitment to have 100 per cent recyclable private brand packaging by 2025.


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January 24, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Walmart Canada has released a new Charter on Plastics, which it says builds on the retailer’s 2016 commitment to have 100 per cent recyclable private brand packaging by 2025.

“Reducing unnecessary plastic waste and increasing plastic recycling are key priorities for Walmart – and for our customers,” Lee Tappenden, the president and CEO of Walmart Canada, said in a statement. “As the world’s largest retailer and producer of private brand products, we want to use our size and scale to take a leadership role in reducing plastic waste in Canada.”

Tappenden said the retailer will address plastic waste in Canada using a three-pronged strategy: using less plastic, recycling more plastic, and supporting improvements to the plastic waste reduction system.

Key commitments of the Charter include:

  • Reducing check-out plastic bags by a further 50 per cent by 2025, and taking approximately 1 billion check-out bags out of circulation over that period.
  • Eliminating single-use plastic straws and replacing them with paper alternatives by 2020, and taking approximately 35 million single-use plastic straws out of circulation annually.
  • Achieving 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its own private brand products by 2025.
  • Eliminating “hard-to-recycle” PVC and expanded polystyrene packaging from all its own private brand products by 2025.
  • Targeting at least 20 per cent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025.
  • Providing customers with alternatives to single-use plastic household products, including utensils, plates and cups.
  • Becoming the first Canadian retailer to publicly commit to using How2Recycle labelling on all its own private brand products by 2025.
  • Eliminating “unnecessary” plastic packaging in its own private brand products starting in 2019.
  • Eliminating all single-use plastics from cafeterias at Walmart Canada’s corporate offices and distribution centres by the end of 2019.

“By reducing plastic waste in our operations and our own private brand products and offering viable alternatives to single-use plastics for our customers, we hope to create broader change that extends far beyond Walmart,” Tappenden said.