Makes New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction
March 11, 2019
Walmart issued a bold new set of plastic waste reduction commitments by leveraging its massive private brand program. The new commitments, announced at Walmart’s annual supplier forum, are expected to impact over 30,000 SKUs. The move is designed to help get to the heart of the problem by focusing on the retailer’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. At the supplier forum, Walmart executives highlighted that the company is working with suppliers to expand efforts to improve the sustainability of its private brand product packaging, with an emphasis on increasing recyclability and making it easier for customers to recycle.
Walmart announced that it will work with its U.S. private brand suppliers on the following commitments:
During the forum, Walmart encouraged its national brand suppliers to make similar packaging commitments through the retailer’s Project Gigaton platform. The retailer has also introduced a new recycling playbook designed to provide information to companies pursuing recyclable packaging and recycled content goals. The recycling playbook gives overviews on what type of plastic packaging is more easily recyclable and provides information on recycling challenges for certain packaging materials. This new recycling guidance is a supplement to Walmart’s existing sustainable packaging playbook that offers information on sustainable packaging best practices such as optimizing packaging design and using consumer-friendly recycling labels.
Plastic waste is a growing concern for Walmart customers, associates and other key stakeholders. Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste by taking actions across its business and working with suppliers to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems.
Some of the retailer’s current
efforts to reach this goal
The Walmart Foundation is also supporting a number of circular economy initiatives such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Beyond 34 project – a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at increasing the current 34 percent recycling rate in the U.S. by providing a scalable model to increase and improve recycling and recovery rates in local communities.
“This announcement sends a positive signal to the marketplace, especially in the United States,” said Steve Alexander, CEO of the Association for Plastics Recyclers. “We applaud Walmart for establishing such a strong recyclable packaging goal and encourage others to pursue similar ambitions.”
“We commend Walmart for working with suppliers in seeking solutions to shared problems related to plastic waste,” said Shailesh Jejurikar, President of Procter and Gamble’s Fabric Care Division. “In setting our own plastic waste reduction goals, P&G understands that driving meaningful change in this space will require collaboration.”
In being a signatory to the G7 Oceans Plastics Charter and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment being led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment, Walmart is working globally to reduce plastic waste within its operations and throughout its value chain. By the end of 2017, Walmart diverted from landfills 81 percent of unsold products, packaging and other waste materials in the U.S.
Walmart’s plastic waste reduction efforts are part of the company’s larger commitment to use its size and scale for good and do business in a way that aims to enhance economic opportunity, encourage sustainability and strengthen local communities. Read more at the Walmart Sustainability Hub.
Plastic Waste in the United