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Walmart Announces New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction Commitments
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Walmart Announces New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction Commitments

The new initiatives are aimed at advancing the sustainability of the
retailer’s private brand packaging and promoting consumer-friendly
recycling labels

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart today 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:

  • 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 in general merchandise packaging by 2020; and
  • Reduce private brand plastic packaging when possible, optimizing the
    use to meet the need.

During the forum, Walmart encouraged it’s national brand suppliers to
make similar packaging commitments through the retailer’s Project
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 include:

  • Offering low cost, high quality alternatives for single use plastic
    consumable products such as straws, cutlery and disposable tabletops;
  • Recycling shrink wrap in most markets—151 million pounds of plastics
    were recycled globally in 2017;
  • Providing access to in-store plastic bag and film recycling bins for
    customers; and
  • Encouraging suppliers to include the How2Recycle label on pack—last
    year more than 800 Walmart private label suppliers participated.

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.

“As a global retailer that has set an ambitious aspirational goal to
create zero waste, we fully recognize that reducing plastic waste by
increasing packaging circularity is an area where Walmart can lead,”
said Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President for Global Sustainability at
Walmart Inc. “Today’s announcement marks another key milestone in our
ongoing journey of working with our private brand and national brand
suppliers to deliver access to high-quality, sustainable products as
part of the Walmart everyday low price promise.”

“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

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 States

While plastic provides numerous benefits relative to other materials
(low cost, shelf life, portability, flexibility, etc.), society’s
ability to collect and recycle plastic waste has failed to keep up with
exponential increases in plastic production, which has grown to nearly
half a billion tons per year. Approximately 35% of plastic produced is
used in packaging, the majority of which is used once and then
discarded. Less than 14% of plastic packaging is recycled globally. This
low number is likely driven by a combination of consumer confusion about
where/how to recycle, weak collection infrastructure, and broken links
between plastic design and scalable processing infrastructure.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and
through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and
members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27
countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of
$514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide.
Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
Walmart can be found by visiting,
on Facebook at
and on Twitter at


Walmart Media Relations
Micah Ragland

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