“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 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.
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 http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.