Washington State Walmart Stores Take a Big Step Towards Sustainability by Saying Goodbye to Plastic Bags


Beginning April 18, Walmart Washington shoppers will be banned from purchasing plastic bags at the checkout to promote sustainability and minimize waste.

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There are a total of 65 Walmart retail units in Washington State comprising 52 Supercenters, 9 Discount Stores, and 4 Neighborhood Markets.

Walmart's decision is significant because Washington state has already banned single-use plastic bags, allowing businesses to charge customers 8 cents for reusable paper or heavy plastic bags. Compostable bags are also available, but the fee is optional.

Walmart has said they will provide a variety of reusable bags and containers to customers for purchase, including a 74-cent reusable option. If customers forget their bags, they can still purchase these options at checkout areas.

Why is Walmart making customers pay for bags?

Walmart's decision to charge for single-use bags is a policy introduced previously. In fact, the company has been providing free reusable bags in other states since 2019 as part of its commitment to reducing waste and dependence on single-use plastics.

Jane Ewing, VP of sustainability at Walmart, said in a statement to WTNH, eliminating single-use bags is part of her plan to reduce in-store waste. Walmart will offer reusable shopping bags and containers, as well as paper bags for packing slips. Customers can also bring their own bags to the store.

This latest decision is another step towards reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable development.

Which items are exempted from the bag ban?

It is essential to note that certain types of plastic bags are exempt from the ban. For example, the new law still allows bags used for produce, meat, and bulk items.

These exceptions aim to ensure that customers can still safely transport certain items without risking contamination.

In addition, people who rely on single-use bags for medical or disability reasons are also exempt from the ban.

What are the environmental benefits?

The move has been welcomed by environmental groups, who see it as an important step in reducing plastic waste in the United States.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 3.04 million tons of plastics and wrappers are landfilled. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to decompose, causing environmental damage to wildlife and ecosystems.

Target, another major retailer, has also taken steps to reduce plastic waste and plans to eliminate plastic bags from its stores by 2025.

Walmart 762 Outlet Collection Way, Seattle WA 98001, United States

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Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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