Walmart plans to eliminate single-use plastic bags from its stores.
The change, announced in a news release on Tuesday, applies to in-store purchases and online grocery pickup and delivery orders.
The retailer aims to phase out single-use plastic bags from its over 400 Canadian locations by Earth Day 2022.
“Eliminating plastic shopping bags is a significant milestone on our journey to becoming a regenerative company – and it’s the right thing to do,” said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, in a statement.
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The retailer says it will become one of the largest grocery retailers in the country to make this change.
According to Walmart, the change will prevent almost three-quarters-of-a-billion plastic bags from entering circulation each year.
The retailer began piloting the change in 10 stores back in August.
“Participating in this pilot has been such a positive experience for my team, especially since we know firsthand how many single-use plastic bags we typically go through each week,” explained Kevin Oakley, a store manager in Guelph, Ontario, in a statement. “Ending the use of single-use plastic bags at checkout means Walmart customers and associates are helping to make a positive impact on the environment every single day.”
For a smooth transition to a plastic bag-free experience, Walmart will encourage customers to bring reusable options from home. They’ll also be selling reusable bag options if needed.
Prior to this announcement, Walmart had already adopted other changes like eliminating plastic wrap from organic banana bunches and eliminating single-use plastic straws in-store and replacing them with paper alternatives.
The Canadian government announced their plan to ban single-use plastics like plastic check-out bags in October 2020.
Environment and Climate Change Canada says single-use plastics make up most of the plastic litter that is found in freshwater environments.