On February 26, 2019, international retailer Walmart announced new initiatives to reduce plastic waste and promote recycling labels within its stores. Company executives presented the new commitments during Walmart’s annual supplier forum. Specifically, these include:

  • “Seek to achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging for its private brand packaging by 2025;
  • Target at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025;
  • Label 100 percent of food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022;
  • Work with suppliers to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC [polyvinylchloride] in general merchandise packaging by 2020; and
  • Reduce private brand plastic packaging when possible, optimizing the use to meet the need.”

The initiative builds on the retailer’s existing statement on plastics and is expected to impact over 30,000 individual products within Walmart stores. The company said that “the move is designed to help get to the heart of the problem by focusing on [Walmart’s] private brand packaging, building upon existing efforts to reduce plastic waste in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club operations, and encouraging national brand suppliers to set similar packaging goals.” The retailer has also set up a platform called “Project Gigathon” to encourage its national brand suppliers to make similar commitments as well as published a sustainable packaging “playbook” that offers guidance on topics such as optimizing packaging design and using consumer-friendly recycling labels (FPF reported).

Read more

Walmart (February 26, 2019). “Walmart Announces New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction Commitments.

Greener Package (February 26, 2019). “Walmart commits to aggressive plastic waste reduction goals.

Environmental Defense Fund (February 27, 2019). “Walmart steps up on recycling efforts – but a gap remains in the circular economy conversation.