Walmart announced this week that for the first time, checkout carousels at its US stores will include reusable bags that will be available to customers for purchase. According to the retailer, the aim of this new campaign is to help reduce plastic waste and increase customer convenience by placing reusable bags in easy to find and highly frequented sections of its stores. As part of the launch, Walmart is rolling out a new assortment of reusable bags that are made with post-consumer recycled content.
The reusable bag initiative will begin rolling out to stores next month and follows a recent announcement by Walmart on a series of plastic waste reduction goals that seek to advance the sustainability of the retailer’s private brand packaging by making it 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2025.
This year’s milestone summit also featured announcements and updates on several other sustainability initiatives. For example, the event marks the two-year anniversary of Project Gigaton, a platform in which Walmart is working with suppliers to avoid 1 billion metric tons, a gigaton, of emissions from global value chains by 2030. As part of the summit, Walmart Canada announced it is joining Project Gigaton, making it Walmart Inc.’s third international market to work with suppliers towards emissions reductions.
In the first two years of Project Gigaton, suppliers are delivering results on their goals and report avoiding more than 93 million metric tons of emissions toward the one gigaton goal. Emissions totals are calculated in accordance with Walmart’s Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology. In an effort to make it easier to enlist more suppliers to the growing total of over 1,000 suppliers participating in the platform, Walmart also announced that it would publish its Project Gigaton Calculators, which are designed by Walmart and NGOs for suppliers to use in reporting progress toward the Project Gigaton goal.
Reinforcing Commitment to Sustainable Textiles
Walmart also recently shared new sustainability goals for apparel and soft home textiles within Walmart U.S. stores, including:
- Sourcing More Sustainable Fibers: Walmart will increase the use of recycled polyester fiber, setting a goal of using 50% recycled content by 2025 and to source 100% more sustainable cotton.
- Reducing Manufacturing Impact: By 2022, Walmart US stores will source apparel and home textile products only from suppliers working with textile mills that use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index Facility Environmental Module (FEM) to measure and help improve environmental performance.
- Walmart will also prioritize sustainable chemistry, setting a goal to reduce the discharge of priority chemicals from the textile manufacturing process.
The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.