Walmart now has three stores where it no longer uses plastic bags, they are expanding to 52 stores soon and expect to have this be the status quo by 2013! I have been saying for a while now that I thought this would happen and Walmart or Target would lead the way.
This serves several functions:
- reduce plastic waste
- reduce cost
- develops a new revenue stream
- builds good will
To say Walmart is doing this because they are green is inncorrect, but to chastise them for trying to turn a profit by selling the bags is also. I for one am glad to see this.
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At a presentation at its Arkansas headquarters, mega-retailer Walmart announced a significant new sustainability goal for its supply chain: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the life cycle of its products by 20 million metric tons (22 million US tons) by 2015–a figure roughly equal to the company’s current annual emissions, and about one and a half times the company’s projected carbon footprint growth in the same time period. This is similar to 2.3 million cars worth of pollution.
In doing so it has collaborated with the Environmental Defense Fund, and with ClearCarbon Inc., the Carbon Disclosure Project, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center to verify GHG reduction claims.
In determining which product categories to focus on first, Walmart SVP of Sustainability Matt Kistler said:
Over the next five years we’re going to be focusing on certain categories, certain businesses where the biggest opportunity exists, where it’s the most efficient, and most cost-effective to remove that greenhouse gas from that supply chain. Whether it be in apparel, whether it be in food, whether it be in home line products, we’re looking at the category of products where there’s great opportunity, but where its at a low cost to remove.